Tim Lee's eponymous trio hitches skanky roots rock riffs to paisley underground drones in a more predictable, sentimental take on the psych-country experiments of Dream Syndicate and True West.
A veteran of Windbreaker, a mid-1980s jangle garage band, Tim Lee has been seeking out the juncture where psychedelic pop and roots rock meet for decades. Here with his first band as a trio (himself, his wife Susan on bass and drummer Rodney Cash), he finds the same hard-kicking, country-tinged grooves as Steve Wynn and the Miracle 3. That works pretty well in the guitar chiming, bass-driven chug of "Saving Gracie", with Tim Lee trading off vocals with Susan, and room for a big side-winding guitar solo mid-cut. It's even more successful in trippy, surfy "Chuck Berry in Space", wrapped in the echo and ardor of a True West song. There's even a nice haze of nostalgia to "Mile Long Midway", about the small town ritual of summer fairs ("Corn dogs and a Kiss tee-shirt / Girls so pretty that they make you hurt."). Still Good2b3 feels overlong, even at 48 minutes. Towards the end, you feel like you've been standing at the bar for few too many hours, trying to groove to the too-forced boogie of "End of the Road", swaying blearily through "Just One More (for Larry Brown)", and tapping feebly to the undercooked mayhem of "I Like It Like That". It's not bad, but not nearly as good as the bands it reminds you of.