As the pianos and keyboards saturating its cover art suggests, Love Is the Best Con in Town, Grand Mal’s fourth LP, is less “rock” than the band’s previous records. Trading in the glam and garage for more mid-tempo piano-based frolics and pocket-sized orchestrations, singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Bill Whitten leads a supporting cast of 20-plus musicians through bared-knuckled drowsers like “Cold As the Stars” and “Not a Penny to My Name”. Despite its long list of contributing credits, Love Is the Best Con maintains an intimate sound, emphasizing the sober calculation of Whitten’s songs. Still, there’s always room to rock: Whitten kicks out some mangy Stones-struck riffage on “Count Me In!”, asking, “Do you wanna go for broke tonight? / Do you wanna rock ‘n’ roll? / Well, c’mon!” C’mon, indeed, but prepare for less bruises on this particular jaunt.
We all know how critical it is to keep independent voices alive and strong online. Please consider a donation to support our work as an independent publisher devoted to the arts and humanities. Your donation will help PopMatters stay viable through these changing and challenging times where advertising no longer covers our costs. We need your help to keep PopMatters publishing. Thank you.
// Sound Affects
"Natalie Hemby's Puxico is a standout debut from a songwriter who has been behind the scenes for over a decade.READ the article