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Crack City Rockers

The Good Life

(Paisley Pop; US: 11 Dec 2006; UK: Available as import)

The Crack City Rockers have been kicking around the Portland music scene since 1999 with the duo of lead-singer, rhythm guitarist, and lyricist Eric Gregory and drummer Curt Schulz as the group’s mainstays. The new additions to the group (guitarist Kenneth Coleman and bassist Matt Sherman) fit in seamlessly and don’t even give the slightest hint that this current configuration hasn’t always played together. Gregory’s lyrics and vocals bear an intellectual polish, gracing the group’s songs with an eloquent yet easily-accessible poetry. Sounding like a less manic Gordon Gano of the Violent Femmes, Gregory’s vocals vary shades of witty dichotomies and bizarre musings that make strange sense: “In the disco / In the nursing home/ I hope I’ll become whole”. Running as an intriguing countercurrent, Coleman’s playing is a cleaned-up ‘70s glam that echoes Glen Buxton (of the original Alice Cooper band fame), Dave Davies of The Kinks, and a touch of J. Geils. Accented with only a mere smattering of mediocrity, notably on the slightly dull “Arms and Legs”, the Crack City Rockers’ results are a mix of ‘80s alternative and pop (best exemplified on The Good Life by “Live In The Wild”) made palatable for a 21st century audience. In turn, the Crack City Rockers reward their listener with good musicianship and keen lyrical observations.

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Lana Cooper has written various reviews and features for PopMatters since 2006. She's also written news stories for EDGE Media, a nationwide network devoted to LGBT news and issues. In 2013, she wrote her first novel, Bad Taste In Men, described as one part chick lit for tomboys and one part Freaks and Geeks for kids who came of age in the mid-'90s. She lives in Philadelphia and enjoys spending time with her family, reading comic books, and avoiding eye contact with strangers on public transportation. A graduate of Temple University, Cooper doesn't usually talk about herself in the first person, but makes an exception when writing an author bio.


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