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Charlie Christmas

Weird Old Man

Review by Gary Hill

This is quite a refreshing and entertaining set. It's well rooted in the music of the 60s and early 70s. Yet there is also a modern freshness to it in some ways. This is old-school garage band music for the modern age, really. I like this disc a lot. In fact, it might make my "best of 2019" list by the time the year is over.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2019  Volume 3 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Place to Stand
A hard edge bring this into being. The cut shifts to more of a psychedelic rock based arrangement from there. It has some definite folk rock built into it, but with a rawer edge. In a lot of ways this feels like something that could have been released in the 1960s. It has a good balance between more rocking and mellower. The sound is classic in a lot of ways.
Friend of Mine
I dig the guitar at the start of this. It brings sort of a glam rock meets punk approach. There is a definite T-Rex vibe to this number.
Happy Day
Here is another that has a lot of pop built into it. It's quite psychedelic and very retro in sound.
(The Band Can't Play Your) Wedding Song
This is a cool hard rocker. There is a bit of punk in the mix along with garage rock and even some power pop. This is catchy and fun. It also has some meaty guitar sounds.
Secret Service Pig
There is cool, echoey psychedelia all over this. It has a retro sound, but with a real freshness, too. There is some cool funk in this at times. The vocals come in very late, and are non-lyrical. They bring more of a retro element, making this song feel like it would have been completely at home in the 1960s.
Gone So Long

Trippy and a bit quirky, this has both modern and retro elements at play. It's a fun and rather mellow cut.

Put It Away (Sexual Misconduct Song)
This feels a bit like the Rolling Stones to me. There is more of that 60s garage band sound in the mix, too. The song is hard rocking and fun. I suppose T-Rex is another valid reference. Lyrically this is topical and very much to the point.
Wrong Way Home
A mellower number, there is a lot of psychedelic texture in this. It's another that's retro styled. It's cool stuff, too.
Call Me Jumbo
This retro sounding rocker has some cool energy. It's an instrumental that has some hints of Frank Zappa to me. There is a slow down section later that has hints of stoner rock.
Porno Valley
Echoey psychedelia is on the menu here. This is energetic, catchy and a lot of fun. The lyrics are cleverly raunchy, as they should be for a song with that title.
Show Your Grit
This hard rocking tune is classy and a bit punky. It has a real early 1970s rock vibe, too. That makes this timeless. I dig the guitar fills on this a lot. There are hints of both The Stones and T-Rex on this number.
Cheese Sauce Crisis Lowered
The bass starts this in a classy way. Other instruments join, and the track builds outward with a killer retro rock groove. This is another solid instrumental.
Thank You
Some harmonica lends an interesting flavor to this piece. There is both a punk rock and a folk edge to this thing. There is some psychedelia here, along with plenty of other retro textures. Yet, this is also one of the freshest sounding pieces here. It does get a bit of a parental advisory on the lyrics.
Bonus Track (See You Go)
This is a short bit of psychedelic garage rock. It's cool, but definitely too brief. Then again, it's a bonus track.
 
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