WHITE CHROME SPLENDORWhite Chrome Splendor
Red 19 Music/San Jacinto
2 and 1/2 Stars
WOW! EXECUTIVE PRODUCER Stephen Baldwin--ya mean the Hollywood hunk and sometime-Tucson resident from the infamous acting clan?! You know this has to be good, right? Baldwin starred in Biodome, didn't he?
The semi-distorto rock guitars actually rip on this Tucson-based band's eponymous release. Opening cut "Let Me Down" kicks into high gear with a hypnotizing and rumbling bass romp that surrounds you in a lugubrious, rhythmic trance reminiscent of Leather Nun's "Prime Mover." Crisp, dynamic production from master knob-twirler Jim Waters invigorates White Chrome Splendor with a bright, shimmering tone that accentuates the occasional, albeit wickedly stimulating, wah-wah effects.
GRAM PARSONSCosmic American Music
THAT ALL RIGHT-thinking music lovers worship at the altar of the long-departed troubadour Gram Parsons goes without saying. Even the staunchest devotee, however, should pause before coughing up 15 bucks for this collection, subtitled "The Rehearsal Tapes, 1972," for which price comes Emmy Lou Harris singing off-key, Gram mumbling in an episodic Wild Turkey haze, and a few fiddle breakdowns courtesy of Ric Grech and Byron Berline. On the plus side, the rehearsal recordings reveal the evolution of Parsons' "A Song for You" from four-chord idea to fully realized classic, showing its growth through several takes. That glimpse into musical history, however, isn't enough to justify draining dollars from the faithful.
COMENear Life Experience
SINGER/GUITARIST THALIA Zedek's third Come album is simultaneously devastating and uplifting. Like Patti Smith before her, her overwhelming drive is to have Faith--in herself, and in people, despite all our frailties. There's the dark, bluesy waltz of "Hurricane," Zedek's ravaged voice braying "The closer I get/The harder I get hit" amid a flurry of choppy riffs and a huge rhythm throb; an eerie violin and piano motif at the end turns Come into the Bad Seeds, grandly cinematic and drenched in drama. "Walk On's" finds Zedek's numb plea for love blunted by the realization that everyone's an actor; this is further underscored by marimba flourishes and a desolate, subtly Western, guitar twang. I propose that Courtney Love was wrongly crowned. She's a false prophetess--and Zedek is anything but.
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