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Gingersol

Remember how critics always said that, tormented as he was, Kurt Cobain couldn't help writing a great pop song? Gingersol will remind you of that.

Gingersol principals Steve Tagliere and Seth Rothschild have seen a pain or two in love and life, but unlike Cobain's outsized turmoil, theirs will resonate with nearly anyone over 21.

"I'd love to take back what I didn't say/ If it would get you to mean what you could never explain," Tagliere sings in "You And Your Clouds." In the Sgt. Pepper-like calliope waltz, "Please Let Me Go," there's the nearly universal, "I may be leavin' / but it's you who gave up." But the lyrics' anguish, and Tagliere's wracked, passionate vocals, are set in infectious singalong choruses and inspired guitar riffs. It's grunge on the way to '60s pop--less anger, more harmony--and updated with electronic experimentation.

Rothschild and Tagliere trade off acoustic and electric guitar, bass and mood-setting synths, with Rothschild adding piano, drums, banjo and backing vocals. Highlights are the swamp monster "Yesterday," with its blues bass hook provided by Drew Glackin, and "None of My Friends," a seven-minute-plus epic of which not a nanosecond is wasted.

More by Linda Ray

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