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Cranky George

Fat Lot of Good

Review by G. W. Hill
In some ways, I would liken this outfit to the kind of music Camper Van Beethoven created. Now, I'm not saying that this like that, because it isn't. However, CVB used violins and similar instruments and brought in waves of traditional world music to make their sound unique. This band seems to also do that, but landing more on the side of the pure world music. I guess the biggest claim to fame for these guys is that among the members of the group is Dermot Mulroney. They don't seem to really push that fact, though. That's good because it's not some novelty band. These guys create real music and pushing that angle would seem to cheapen the effort to me. It should stand on the musical creation. That's mostly world music based, but there is range here and plenty of rock music, too. It's an effective disc for sure.
Track by Track Review
Tunnel of Love

There is a lot of world music built into this. It's a bouncy cut that's rather fun. There is some strange silence at the end of the piece.

Perfect Skin
This is a rocking tune. It's built around roots music. To me the the vocal arrangement really sells this. I like it more than I did the opener. That said, there is some real powerhouse jamming in the later parts of the tune.
Katyusha
Bouncy and a bit theatrical, this is packed with world music textures. It's a fun tune. The sped up instrumental section later in the track is particularly effective.
Greenland's Ice
This has a very traditional sound to it. It's bouncy, fun and Celtic in texture.
Misery Road
This song feels a bit country like. I'm not a big fan of it. That said, it's the most "rock tune" like thing so far.
Waltz in Blue
A slower tune, this has country and rock in the mix. It's in a similar musical territory as the last piece, but it's more effective.
Yes!
There is  lot of energy here. There are also a lot of Latin elements. This is bouncy and fun.
The Man With the Burning Eyes
Roots music blends with some definite Americana on this bouncing kind of rocker. It's packed with energy and just oozes cool I think this is my favorite tune here.
Sausage Moon
The lyrics to this are in Spanish. The cut is mellow and quite dramatic. It's slow, but the vocals and other elements drive it. I love the fast paced klesmer-like movement later in the track.
Ne Me Quitte Pas
This has a great roots music vibe to it. It's not quite Latin and not quite Celtic. It's somewhere in the territory that's shared by the two of them. It's a fun cut with a lot of energy.
The Bones
Bouncy and Celtic like. This has some Americana built into it, too. The fast paced jam later in the cut brings an almost progressive rock element to this thing.
All the Rivers in the World
Slower world music makes up this cut. It's another that's strong, but it's not really a standout.
Summer Dress
A bouncy little number, this has some 1950s rock and roll built into it. Sure, it's still set in the same world music textures, but there are definitely doo-wop things here. This is fun and definitely represents some change.           
Nighttime
This is more of a pure rock song. It's energetic and quite catchy. It's one of the highlights of the set.

 

 
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