Sunday, December 5, 2010

Gratuitous Pop Music Criticism - Nick Curran and the Lowlifes

Nick Curran is a veteran of the sort of bands that span genres like punk and psycho-billy. I had never heard of him until I heard a couple of cuts from "Reform School Girl" on Little Steven's Underground Garage, which is a great radio show, if only for showcasing bands you'd never hear otherwise.

The band has piano, upright bass, sax, girl singers and the kind of drummer who doesn't have a million pieces so he's guaranteed to hit something wherever he flails. Curran plays a pretty mean guitar.

The best cuts are the ones where he's doing his Little Richard thing, although the title track is a pretty amusing Ronettes-via-Joey Ramone deal.

I could do without "Kill My Baby." It's just not funny. But the rest is good stuff, if derivative. But the influences are wide-ranging and Curran combines them in a way that's unique.

Apparently Curran's a purist and makes his records with elderly equipment, so the disc's sound is compact and warm. "Reel Rock Party" would jump out of a mono AM car speaker set in the dashboard.

And most people will hate this record, which is enough for me to recommend it.

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