[17 September 2007]
PopMatters Music Reviews Editor
So the Goo Goo Dolls are a poor man’s Bon Jovi. But Vertical Horizon is a poor man’s Goo Goo Dolls. And until now, Sister Hazel has been a poor man’s Vertical Horizon. But with the band’s latest release, BAM! Volume 1, a collection of throw-aways and B-Sides from an admittedly forgettable 15-year career, the Gainesville natives prove that Sister Hazel can be a poor man’s, well, Sister Hazel.
Songs like “Work in Progress” and “Out of Place” are awkward and never needed to see the light of day. “Boy Next Door,” “Sweet Destiny” and “On Your Mind” probably should have been played on the radio for 10 days sometime in the late 90’s, but weren’t. And there is an obvious reason for that. While Sister Hazel’s smash 1997 hit, “All For You” was both accessible and fun, the band as a whole lacked substance and relevance. This collection only testifies for such a notion, proving that while Sister Hazel may have been great for a night, you would never think of holding their hand at the mall.