May 25 - May 31, 1995

[Quick Scans]


1 Star
THERE WAS A Dokken song I liked once, but I can't remember the name of it. I can hear the guitar riff, a bit of melody and visualize a frame or two from the video, but the song title eludes me.

That just about sums up this album. Mildly likeable monster rock that hides in a web in a corner of your brain--forgettable.

It's one multi-layered song after another--Judas Priest, Def Leppard, Metallicaesque stuff from forgettable pages of rock and roll history.

--Michael Metzger


Incident At Cima
Independent Project Records
4 Stars
EX-SAVAGE REPUBLIC'S Bruce Licher's new trio creates sonic panoramas brimming with a beautiful tension. Here, instrumental music is a chance to escape into the players', and your own, cinematic imagination.

"Bossa Dune," for example, suggests an image of--no joke-- a bunch of surfboard-toting, sashaying hipsters in a Latin cantina stuck out in the Mohave Desert. The textured guitars and trudging rhythms of "Chiriaco Summit" seem to pit gothic shadows against sunny optimism. And "The Mid Hills," which resembles early Fleetwood Mac's "Oh Well (Pt. 2)," implies a coming to terms with one's geographical surroundings, and of forging a deep emotional bond with them.

--Fred Mills


Sugar Hill
2 Stars
IT'S DOC'S DREAM come true--a band of great players (Marty Stuart on electric guitar and mandolin), Duane Eddy (electric guitar), Junior Brown (guit-steel), Mike Auldridge (dobro and lap steel) along with a couple of stellar harmony singers--Moondi Klein (of Chesapeake) and Alan O'Bryant (Nashville Bluegrass Band). All of them gathered to play some of Doc's favorite rockabilly and country favorites.

It's hard for a Doc fan like myself to believe, but this isn't the great album I was sure it was going to be when I first held it in my sweaty hands. Watson doesn't have the voice necessary to make a truly interesting covers of "Shake, Rattle and Roll," for instance. You don't need a great voice but you do need some oomph. He sounds old and tired here.

"Walking After Midnight," "What Am I Living For" and "Heartbreak Hotel" do call for special vocals and new arrangements to give them a spot next to the originals. Again, Doc's voice is better suited to his own blues/bluegrass/folk than these standards. The arrangements are uninspired as well.

A disappointment, but not a disaster.

--Michael Metzger


Rounder Records
3 Stars
SNAP THIS BEAN and a fresh mix of get-up-and-dance zydeco, rhythm and blues, and hip hop comes popping out. Never mind that this Houston-based band looks like a gang of young rappers from South Central, these boys are decidedly different. Frontman L'il Brian is only 21-years-old with a tough, tattoo look that juxtaposes his sizzling accordion playing. While zydeco is the prominent style, rhythm and blues are stirred in to several cuts, serving up a tasty new stew. The hip hop is found mostly in the rhythms, and there's a smidgen of rap here and there for added zest.

--Molly Who

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May 25 - May 31, 1995

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