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Non-Prog CD Reviews

The Standells

Bump

Review by Gary Hill

How many bands have forty five years between studio recordings? I don’t really know the number, but it’s got to be a short list. The Standells are now on that list. Although they’d been playing live gigs for a while, they weren’t content with that. They decided to put together an album. This is the result. Featuring a large number of original songs and a couple covers, this disc does a nice job of merging a modern element with the classic Standells sound. I think it’s sure to please long-time fans and likely to get them a few new ones, too.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2013  Volume 6 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
7&7 Is

There is an almost punky vibe to this smoking hot rocker. There’s plenty of psychededelic rock here, too, though. The mellower classic rock meets blues jam mid-track is a nice touch. So is the cool retro organ sound.

It's All about the Money
That punk vibe is kind of gone here. This has a modern rock meets old-school classic rock sound. At times I’m reminded of Max Webster somehow. This is another cool rocker that really does a great job of updating that classic Standells sound. The synthesized horn section is cool. This does get some minor parental advisories.
Boston's Badass
Although the overall effect here is more modern, there are still some seriously retro sounds in place. This is a pretty straightforward rocker with a catchy hook. The processed guitar sound is cool and the guitar solo is particularly tasty.
Help You Ann
The chorus hook on this is too repetitive for my tastes. That makes this tune overstay its welcome a bit. Still, it’s a cool tune that also combines those retro and modern sounds. The organ in particular brings the retro elements to the fore.
Pushin' Too Hard
This classic retro tune works really well. It’s got some of the best guitar soloing of the set. I can hear Max Webster on this one a bit, too. It’s got one of the least retro sounds of the whole set.
Big Fat Liar
Another from the “more modern sounding” files, this has some punk in the mix. It’s a catchy tune with some good hooks.
Mr. One Percent
Now, if I had to describe this in one phrase, I’d say “Bachman Turner Overdrive meets Max Webster.” That comes pretty close. This one also gets a bit of a parental advisory. It’s got some of the cooler instrumental work of the set and it’s odd, but also catchy. The extended jam later in the tune is one of the cooler sections of the whole album.
She's Just 18
Another classy sounding rocker, this isn’t a big surprise, but it’s cool. There is definitely a punky vibe here.
And I Got It
This tune definitely has both punk rock and psychedelic in the mix. It’s also got one of the coolest riffs of the whole disc. This is one of the highlights here and a killer song.
Bump in the Night
Although there are no big changes on the closer, it’s the strongest cut here. It’s just a great rocker in the same style we’ve heard throughout the disc. I love the saxophone section that takes it out, too.

 

 
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