I just posted the first new full-length review on the ol’ Reviews page. It’s been over a year since that index has been updated, seeing as how the Reviews Matrix has taken center stage. My original plan was to interview Eric Bachmann as a preview for tomorrow night’s show with Richard Buckner, but he wasn’t available when I was available and vice versa, so instead I put together this review, which will give you a general idea of where he’s coming from on his new album, To the Races. And speaking of reviews, the folks at The Reader tell me that CD reviews will be returning to the paper after, what, an 8-eight year absence. Strangely, I think The Reader is just about the only alternative newspaper in the country that hasn’t run CD reviews. It is a freakin’ staple for alt weeklies, as it should be.
And while we’re talking about reviews, Lazy-i intern Brendan Greene-Walsh has submitted some more reviews for your perusal, starting with the following, which is another example of where we disagree — we’re a regular Ebert and Roeper (Wherein Brendan plays the role of the fat guy and I’m the geek).
Butch Walker and the Let’s-Go-Out-Tonites!, The Rise and Fall of… (Epic) — I knew I was in for a treat upon reading the first line of the band’s one-page. Let me share it with you: “If you want a peek at Butch Walker’s speed dial, the most recent copy of Billboard might do the trick.” Ugh.I’ll get back to that after a few words about the actual music. The Rise and Fall of… is the third solo album to come out of Butch Walker, a man who has more credits to his producing career than most people could garner in four lifetimes. For this endeavor, he involved a seven-piece band affectionately titled the “Let’s-Go-Out-Tonites!” Together the ensemble produces an incredibly tight sound with keys, organs and horn sections weaving in and out of the album. But no matter how tight the band, the bottom line is the song writing. Or in this case, the lack thereof. Cheese-ball chord progressions and elementary school vocal melodies just don’t cut it in my book. It is everything that has been done before and I’ve got a good idea where it came from.The included one page focused on Walker’s producing credits. Did you know he is producing Avril Lavigne’s next record? Or that he flew to Las Vegas for a one-night session with the All-American Rejects? Neither did I, nor did I really care. This is a case of someone trying to dip his hand into other’s pockets. Good thing mine are empty. Rating: No — Brendan Greene-WalshTim sez: The opening line to the band’s theme song says it all: “I’m tired, I’m bored, Where’s the cocaine?” Walker sounds like a ’70s rock vaudevillian stuck between gigs with Sweet and Nick Gilder. Sure, he’s a braggart, a boaster, a bullshitter. What Brendan doesn’t understand is that a certain amount of rock cocksmanship is not only expected if you’re going to plow this sort of ground, it’s required. It won’t work without it. Especially if you’re going to do songs like “Bethamphetamine” (You’re pretty strung out for a girl). And “Hot Girls in Good Moods” (My love is just a teen-age bullet belt). The complete lack of effort to update the songwriting style (Is that a cushion of strings on the stereotypical schlock ballad “Dominoes”?) makes it an homage to an era best remembered for its muscle cars. Is it cheeseball? It sure is, and I don’t mind at all. Rating: Yes.
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