CD Reviews

Posted March 6, 2008 in Music

Pride Tiger—The Lucky Ones (Caroline)

Canuck retro-heshers Pride Tiger wouldn’t exist without the strutting shadow of Thin Lizzy. They’ve borrowed almost all of that Irish band’s sonic signatures: urgent stop-start progressions; Phil Lynott’s semi-spoken vocals and everyman’s romanticism; surprisingly sweet harmonies; dueling twin lead guitars; sudden, spiraling six-string flurries; and strangulated, Scott Gorham-esque solos. Three of the Pride are metal refugees (all former members of 3 Inches of Blood), with vocalist Matt Wood doubling on drums for The Lucky Ones, their debut (the absence of Lizzy drummer Brian Downey’s dexterity is, inadvertently or otherwise, their only straying from TL tribute). Pride Tiger appear sincere and The Lucky Ones is tuneful, evocative and escapist. They go out of their way to make the thing danceable (a knee-jerk reaction to the rigid rhythmic confines of their erstwhile metal pursuits?) with hand-percussion and handclaps a go-go, but there’s nothing original enough here—and nothing not already plundered by Corrosion of Conformity and Monster Magnet—to merit buying this record. (Paul Rogers)


Ladyhawk—Shots (Jagjaguwar)

Cobbled together in an old, abandoned barn behind a strip mall in a sleepy Canadian town, Ladyhawk’s Shots is an aural snapshot of their surroundings and you can hear those crunchy twigs and fallen leaves crackling and rustling between drum beats and guitar riffs. The album’s not all organic granola and cute woodland creatures, though. These cats drag you out through the shadowy twilight forest to a secret clearing and hand you some whiskey and you’re expected to down that shit straight from the bottle. Doesn’t matter, though, because what the band gives you isn’t something you haven’t had before—its not particularly harsh or smooth or flavorful or anything, and after you pour it down the only thing striking about Shots is how much of it melts away into the distorted haze. In fact, after the initial buzz from the album’s opener “I Don’t Always Know What You’re Saying,” the album kind of drums along without anything surprising, which is good enough for a taste test but not good enough to proffer repeated indulgences in the band’s less-than-intoxicating elixir. (Phil Fuller)


Ludo—You’re Awful, I Love You (Island)

Though they’ve toured all over the US for the past four years, Saint Louis’ Ludo never really left college. They met there, formed there, and their over-thought lyrics and nostalgic sensibilities are still there. Ludo’s music is deftly arranged sub-Weezer pop, with enough plot twists, show tune-ish crescendos and unlikely Crowded House melancholy to hold the ear. It’s the lyrics, sodden with you-didn’t-think-I’d-really-sing-that-did-you? smarty-pants ironic/clichéd quips (“I found God in a catalytic converter in Topeka on a Monday night”), that summon unwelcome visions of former campus kings Cake, Presidents of the United States of America (who Ludo tour with later this month), and Barenaked Ladies. A producer whose credits include Train and Maroon 5 only underlines the clean-cut, alumni-rock aura. These lads work hard and bring smiles, so good luck to ‘em—but perpetual detention in the Class of ’02 is neither relevant or (yet) retro. (Paul Rogers)





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