Sunday, October 30, 2005

unbleeble review

this guy, Alan, nails it!...

If there’s a musician who wears his heart on his sleeve as ardently as ace pop ‘n’ roller Terry Anderson, I’d like to know who it is and invite him over to Anderson’s house to whoop it up a bit with the boys in the band. Wake up the neighbors. Doesn’t matter the time of day, neither.

It would be easy to dismiss Anderson as just another pop ‘n’ roller singing about women and drinking and whole lot of other ings, but there’s an indisputable charm about the guy and his music. The way he mixes the pop and the roll into such a delectable, toe-tapping musical stew is to be admired and, even more, awed. You really can’t help being swayed by his charms.

On the self-titled Terry Anderson and the Olympic Ass-Kickin Team, Anderson and his crack band tear through a baker’s dozen, mostly propulsive tunes driven by Anderson’s bangin’ drumming and enthusiastic, committed vocals. From the opening, most excellent Rockpile nod, “Can’t Get the One You Want,” to the closing country stomper, “Rehab,” featuring Walter Clevenger and the Dairy Kings and the Spongetones’ Jamie Hoover (playing a mean mandolin) on a tune somewhat reminiscent of McGuiness Flint’s “When I’m Dead and Gone,” this album is one wild ride. Hang on to your hats, children; the meek, enter at your own risk. The rest of you…well, you know who you are.

Anderson is one of those guys who knows how to soak up his influences and jumble them up in his mind to the point that they come out sounding not so much like them, but like him (see how deftly he cops the Beatles at the beginning of the poppy, complete-with-sitar “Inez,” and quickly goes off on his own, entrancing way). This is no simple task, by the way; look how he comes out swinging like he’s Rockpile filtered through his sensibilities and tell me if he doesn’t make it work (dig that pure pop middle-eight; those glorious harmonies are the shit).

Listen to the deliberately-paced and still rockin’ Chuck Berry groove of “Purple GTO” and see if you don’t get the idea to spray paint your car and cruise the strip. The high-energy “Feel a Drunk Comin’ On,” chronicling the liquid refreshment expectations of a professional imbiber, really soars thanks to some superior guitar work. The even-higher-energy “Check Please,” played at one hell of a breakneck pace like some speed-demon, Ramones/Rockpile hybrid, will see you wear out your carpet as you stomp your feet to the beat and play your meanest air guitar.

Anderson knows how to get off a couple of pure pop songs, too. Take, for example, the upbeat, horn and guitar-driven “You Know Me”; and, most especially, the best song about love and rain I’ve heard in ages, the wonderfully melodic “Raindrops,” which sports especially affecting background vocals. It’s a wonderful arrangement of a real gem. A classic, even.

Backed by Jack Cornell on bass and a bitchin’ cast of players, among them Scotty Miller on guitar and Greg Rice on keyboards, Anderson has delivered a whole lotta fun on a silver platter. An album this kickin’ has to be considered one of the best of the year, for its great songs and playing, and for its insight into the whys and wherefores of women and drinking. Rock (and pop) on. This is one album that you won’t mind kicking your ass.

Alan Haber
October 30, 2005

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