Monday, June 22, 2009

Jersey Beat

National Champions
(Double Naught Records )
Twangy, Southern-fried, and rollicking rock n roll dominates a wickedly fun, smile-enducing record from Terry Anderson's Olympic Ass-Kicking Team. This is no frills rock n roll played in the purest sense of the word. The fun "Goin' or Comin'" kicks off the record and the track is infectious. Fans of Petty or Springsteen will adore the earnest songwriting on slabs of Americana such as the anti-Barry Bonds, "Willie Mays" ("You're not half as cool as Willie Mays"), "Is We or Ain't We" and the hard-hitting guitar rave-up, "Pow'ful Merka'. The country-flavored "You Had me at Get lost" is hilarious take on a miserable relationship, featuring lines like "That restraining order really got me hot". Terry Anderson's warm vocals and steady drumming are the epicenter of the band's sound while rich backing vocals make each track a densely textured slab of big hooks and contagious choruses. The bluesy "Found Missing" perfectly embodies the band's love of rock's earliest influences,while also providing a renovation of the classic sound. Some of the slower pieces, notable "Wrong for That" and the closing "Feel right Now" did not work for me, but when the guys plug in and elevate the intensity, as they do sporadically throughout the record, I was hooked. This is an old fashioned driving album in which each track will help the miles pass more quickly. Pick this one up.
-Rich Quinlan

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