I sent my wife on a qwest to find a bad review of the new record..this is the worst one she could find...by Tim Peacock...Thanks Tim!
Think of singing drummers and inevitably those dreaded two words spring to mind: Phil Collins.Ghastly, isn't it? But fortunately there are musicians out there fighting a rearguard action. Back in their prime, Husker Du's Grant Hart wrote and sang almost half the songs and in North Carolina's TERRY ANDERSON, we have another character who's a bit tasty with a quick roll on the skins as well as being handy at penning a catchy tune or three.Anderson has a colouful past, actually, as the previous fifteen years of his life have found him co-writing songs for artists as well-respected as Joe Dee Messina and (wow) Etta James as well as playing significant parts in bands such as The Woods and (wait for it) The Fabulous Knobs. And no, I couldn't make that last one up.Terry now fronts the immortally-monikered OLYMPIC ASS-KICKIN' TEAM with bassist Jack Cornell (also ex-Woods), guitarists Dave Bartholomew and Scotty Miller and keyboard player Greg Rice. Their eponymously-titled debut album is a brevity-fuelled 13 songs-in-under-40-minutes affair with a penchant for stupidly catchy, booze-fuelled bar room rockers, easy grooves and a few pleasant surprises along the way.Opener "Can't Get The One You Want" features sparky, 12-Bar guitar, shakers, kick drum and Anderson battering a 6ft step ladder. It suggests the Olympians are happy to incorporate kooky ideas as and when required and Anderson's wry'n'astute lyrics ("Sure enough you come back home and all your stuff is on the lawn with a note to say 'you're moving!'") demonstrate he has a flair for painting all-too-credible pictures of liquor-sodden misadventure.Much of what follows is likeable and engaging without ever demanding too much of you. There are several excellent rockers, not least the great, Replacements-style abandon of "Check Please", the beer-drenched, Stones-y groove of "Feel A Drunk Comin' On" (dig that Ian MacLagan-style piano!) and the big, confident opening crescendo and fruity Hammond-organ flavoured pop/rocker "Sunday Dress." Elsewhere, the sheer self-deprecation and easy grooves of songs like "Purple GTO" - a typical cars'n'girls affair featuring the Georgia Satellites' Dan Baird on guitar - and the fat, Stax-y horns of "You Know Me" ingrain themselves on your brain before you know where you are. And you're happy to let them do so.
Funnily enough, though, it's often when the Olympians relegate the chunky ramalama that they really score. For example, there's the red-hot, semi-acoustic skiffle/ rockabilly of "$100 A week" (think early Burritos with some scorching Albert Lee-style lead guitar from Mike Krause), the strangely fitting closing "Rehab" featuring ex-Whiskeytown gal Caitlin Cary on violin and vocals and this writer's personal favourite "Raindrops", which makes space for a blue'n'romantic Anderswon vocal, liquid pedal steel and a distinct country-rock leaning. Besides, which old romantic out there could possibly deny a chorus that goes "when I'm with you, I can walk between raindrops"? Aahh!!There are a few less satisfactory moments like the slightly peurile "Thunderbird" ("I might just pull my pants down and smoke some cigarettes" - OK, guys, we get the message you like to party, but put it away yeah?) and the predictable rabble-rousing chorus of "Hi'N'Dry", but even these aren't major disasters and thanks to the Ass-Kickin' Team's desire to bring most things in well under three minutes, these faux-pas' fail to prevent your enjoyment being unduly interrupted.Anderson and co, then, may not immediately strike you as stars of track and field, but their butt-booting rock'n'roll and Southern fried boogie abilities ensure they are in with a chance when the medals are handed round. All things considered, "The Olympic Ass-Kickin' Team" is a personal best to be proud of.