by Ben Varkentine


God, am I sick of bad rock and roll.

Those of you who are regular readers of my reviews may detect a theme in recent reactions to rock and roll, and wonder why I set myself up for disappointment time and time again by requesting rock records for review. The answer is in those handful or more of artists who do inject new life into the genre, usually by bringing in outside elements. Another theme I seem to keep returning to is that rock is defined by it’s limitations. Even the first definition of rock is as a mass of stone. Unmoving. Not going anywhere. Surely the analogy is obvious. These roads just don’t lead anywhere but downhill anymore, troops.

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This five-piece (voice, guitars, bass, keyboards, drums) band from plastic, artificial, bad old LA (and not the real Palo Alto, where everything is pure and natural and good) is just…another…rock and roll band that doesn’t seem to have grown past 1978. Those goddamn “Wild Thing/Louie, Louie” chord changes again, trite lyrics, keyboards that can’t keep the rhythm, and out of tune (never mind, he feels it) guitars. In concert, I’ll bet they feature a drum solo. The most musically degrading efforts from Andrew Lloyd Webber are a more enjoyable listening experience than this, do you hear? Arrgh. They’re trying to kill me with this stuff, you know.

Okay, I need to calm down. But really, I’m at loss to understand why anyone would willingly want to listen to, much less make, this kind of music. The world doesn’t need another CD like this. Never before have i wanted so to break a CD after I’ve finished reviewing it. I don’t want there to be even the possibility that I will ever have to listen to this again.

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