One of the more welcome returns to the garage scene has been Eddie Baranek, d/b/a the Sights—one-time almost-saviors of rock and roll (back in the heady days of the early ‘00s) who bowed out of the game for a while, only to pick up right where he left off with 2010’s Most Of What Follows Is True. Baranek’s one of those effortless masters of garage/pop/R&B/soul—he’s the kind of guy Little Steven wishes he could clone and add to every three piece combo—but he’s never rested on his laurels, and Left Over Right finds him expanding his palette on an album run riot with saxophone, trombone and organs galore. With drummer Skip Denomme and multi-instrumentalist Gordon Smith returning from 2010’s line-up, Left Over Right mostly sidesteps Most Of What Follows’ country influence and builds on the horn section that the band introduced on that record. “Fool (I Can’t Stop Making Out With You)” is a joyous blast of Paul Revere-style rave-up. “Prayer”, meanwhile, offers Baranek’s Mission Statement over sprightly organ: “I turn bitter into sweet / I can do it in my sleep” and then proves it by deftly chronicling bad relationships on the midtempo piano number “Bad Man”, the splenetic “Not As Pretty” and (in the “sweet” column) the McCartney-pop-meets-barroom-swagger of “You Are the Sunshine”.
Admittedly, there’s less guitar heroics to be found on Left Over Right than on previous Sights albums (though check out the Big Rock Solo on “Anything to Anyone” to hear that they’ve still got it), but these lifers know that there’s more to rock and roll than six-string theatrics.
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// Notes from the Road
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