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Age of Reason

(Slumberland; US: 29 Mar 2011; UK: 29 Mar 2011)

Sarandon is a gritty, hard-charging rock band. They hit with a punk speed and fury, but with a prog-rock scope and precision. Their new record, Age of Reason, is—with all that in mind—very much a concept album about a frustrated man named Big Trev, who’s determined to change his mundane life. The songs themselves show the frustration and passion behind this want, from the herky-jerky pop of “Big Trev” to the hefty funk-rock of “Dinosaur”. Throughout the album, the players churn with energy, turning out cutting angles on the guitars, gut-rumbling bass and driving, floor-shaking percussion. Sarandon would be a force on this record, but unfortunately the “concept” part gets in their way. Big Trev jumps in between tracks and rambles about his lot in life during spoken-word snippets, and they do little for the album besides get in the way of some solid rock songs. When Sarandon displays their many skills, Age of Reason is a heck of a listen. But when the concept album pretensions work their way in, this becomes a bit of a slog.


Matthew Fiander is a music critic for PopMatters and Prefix Magazine. He also writes fiction and his work has appeared in The Yalobusha Review. He received his M.F.A. in Creative Writing from UNC-Greensboro and currently teaches writing and literature at High Point University in High Point, NC. You can follow him on Twitter at @mattfiander.

Tagged as: sarandon
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