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Shotgun Jimmie

Transistor Sister

(You've Changed; US: 8 Mar 2011; UK: 15 Mar 2011)

Good time rock doesn't amount to much

Shotgun Jimmie plays good-time guitar-based rock ‘n’ roll. Handling guitar and vocal duties on this, his third album, Jimmie gives the impression of a guy who’s having a party anywhere he goes. The singing is self-consciously unschooled—think Nerf Herder, or even David Lowrey—but the tunes are solid enough, even if nothing really stands out or is quite as funny as the band seems to think. Far too many of the album’s 16 tracks are throwaways: “Piano” is 26 seconds, “Bar’s Open” is 17, and there are plenty more where they came from. I bet it all sounded great in the studio, but don’t make me sit through it, man.


Even the real songs feel short and often rushed. Most everything checks in at the neighborhood of two to three minutes, which makes fun a fun set at the bar but doesn’t give the band much time to show its chops. Before long, the stream of short, peppy songs with ironic lyrics runs together. Even after a half dozen listens, it’s hard to remember anything in particular.

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DAVID MAINE is a novelist and essayist. His books include The Preservationist (2004), Fallen (2005), The Book of Samson (2006), Monster, 1959 (2008) and An Age of Madness (2012). He has contributed to The Washington Post, Publishers Weekly, Esquire.com and NPR.com, among other outlets. He is a lifelong music obsessive whose interests range from rock to folk to hip-hop to international to blues. He currently lives in western Massachusetts, where he works in human services. Catch up with his blog, The Party Never Stops, at davidmaine.blogspot.com, or become his buddy on Facebook (or Twitter or Google+ or whatever you prefer) to keep up with reviews and other developments.


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