Wednesday, April 23, 2014
The Only Children Change of Living Art of the Underground 2004 (2007)
Been trying to get into this album recently. I really enjoy Josh Berwanger's new LP, thought I should give this another try as it represents his work immediately following the breakup of the Anniversary. Unfortunately, I didn't miss any power pop gems on this LP, it's still a failed attempt at Country Rock.
The vinyl release of this came on a putrid brown and yellow swirl combo and was limited to 500 copies. It also came out 3 years after the album was released on CD. I haven't dug it out in such a long time that I kind of forgot I had it. The band features the previously mentioned Berwanger, Christian Jankowski on drums, and James David on bass from the Anniversary. Also features Heidi-Lynne Gluck, who is Canadian and was part of the group Some Girls. Kansas Citian, T.K. Webb rounds out the lineup on guitar. The best part about the album is that it features T.K. Webb on guitar. He's the only one who's able to sound genuine throughout the album and that's really due to his talent as a guitar player, I don't think he's all that Southern-fried or anything, he's more blues based on his work.
I don't know though, despite Webb, I can't get into this. It's just drenched in Southern rock cliches, too the point that it sounds disingenuous. The thing about good Southern rock is that it bleeds into things like funk, jazz, and country. You can make fun of yelling, "Freebird" all you want, but that first Skynard album is diverse. This sounds like some dudes that discovered the Allman Brothers and went with that and nothing else, maybe the Band, because they're accepted universally as "cool". There are moments the band starts to sound like ZZ Top and I don't think that was their intent. It feels like they envisioned this dramatic Americana, roots album. Instead, it comes across as poser-Southern Rock with too many splashes of country and not enough soul.
The album does have some decent moments though, I actually like the ZZ Top riffing of the title track and the song "West Virginia." The flip side has some soft spoken ballads that aren't half bad as well...there's some 7"s available I might start searching out, you know, see if they didn't figure it out prior to the band disbanding.
Change of Living