THE ONE STAR? The disc arrived in a leatherette wallet; not only shall I fold my spending money into it, the clear plastic window will display a color pic of my beloved pooch Rufus.
And it's a dog's life for Blind Melon. A banjo 'n' kazoo bluegrass tribute to Ed Gein, "Skinned," comes five years after every punk band worth its irony tackled the subject. "The Duke's" watery Hendrixadelia is marginally interesting, except the licks were inadvertently copped from Clapton. And bluesy fuzztone rocker "Lemonade" reveals vocalist Shannon Hoon's screechy role model to be Black Oak's Jim Dandy, not Jane's Perry Farrell, which is like claiming Billy Carter was a better statesman than Henry Kissinger.
Dead Fucking LastProud To Be
IF DFL HAD made this hardcore-ish record in 1981, they would have pressed up 500 (vinyl) copies, sold them out of their van for a few weeks at local gigs, and then faded away. Nothing wrong with that--it's what most of the best rock bands have done for ages. In 1995, though, they'll tour, opening for other Epitaph million-sellers. It's amazing that few people realize this "new" punk rock "explosion" is really a retro rehash of a decade-and-a-half-old musical trend. Nothing wrong with that either--I like it! Just don't believe that the sloppy amateurism and lo-fi ambiance of this DFL disc (a quality I also appreciate) is anything new.
WAYNE JACKSON & ANDREW LOVEThe Memphis Horns
ONE CD WITH ETTA James, Mavis Staples, Leon Russell, Bobby Womack and Robert Cray? Whew. Longtime influences on countless horn players since their early days with Stax records, trumpet and trombone player Jackson and tenor saxophonist Love couldn't come from a deeper pocket of source music. Session players for the greats of R&B and soul, from Aretha to Isaac Hayes, these two defined the Memphis horn sound. Bobby Womack's original for the session, with Hayes backing him on organ, is a moving statement, powerful like the rest of covers and classics here. The whole date seems full of heart, spirit and rocking good soulful times.
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