This record finds Nick Luca branching out from his days working with Neko Case, Calexico and Howie Gelb and heading towards a “full-blown four-piece rock juggernaut”, according to the presser. Uh, okay. Well, they get that description correct with the roots rock feel of “Damned” which is damn catchy. However, the album sags slightly with the tight, pop flavored “One Way Ticket Home”, an approach which has been done before and done a bit better also. Luca opts for the disco-tinged dance rock “I Was Dancing in the Lesbian Bar” for better results which delivers the goods that sounds like Rocco DeLuca covering Franz Ferdinand. Perhaps the first real gem here is “Pretty Mama” which could have fallen from David Bowie’s pants circa “Let’s Dance”. Things also stay on the straight and narrow rock path with the lean barroom ditty “It’s Not Over Yet”. The following song has the similar bass from “Walk on the Wild Side”….oh crap, it is exactly like “Walk on the Wild Side” and does not come off well either. Neither does “Fires Burning” for that matter with its sappy arrangement.
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// Notes from the Road
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