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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Happy Curmudgeons

Meant 2 Be

Review by Gary Hill

This is a bit of a mixed bag. Personally, I think this one probably works better as single songs than it does as an album of music. The lack of cohesion is one of the main reasons that is true. Variety is good on a disc, but this one seems to take it to an extreme. Some of these pieces don't even feel like the same act. The other issue I have with this is that there is a bit of a DIY awkwardness to a lot of this. Still, there are some shining moments, and nothing lands in the "unlistenable" category.

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Track by Track Review
Bar Hoppin
Bouncy and fun, this is a playful cut. It has some interesting guitar fills built into it. This is pop rock with an alternative edge.
This has more of a classic blues rock groove. The saxophone later really wails in style.
Meant 2 Be
More of a folk music styled thing, this isn't as successful as the two songs that preceded it are. The female vocals work well, but the male one seem a bit awkward. The song is just a bit pedestrian. It does have some tasty acoustic guitar soloing.
3rd Coast

I dig the acoustic guitar sound on this cut. The number feels quite a bit like The Grateful Dead. While it's still a bit clumsy at times, it's quite an effective piece.

Carnal Boogie

They bring the crunch this time. The tune has a definite metal basis, feeling a bit like stoner metal. There is still an un-polished DIY vibe here. As you might guess by the title, the lyrics to this are quite sexual.

Burn Sugar Burn
A fun retro styled rocker, this has some tasty guitar soloing. It's one of the more polished pieces here. It's also one of the standouts with some particularly catchy hooks.
Idle Time
Here is another that definitely makes me think of The Grateful Dead. While the first one was acoustic based, this lands more in the psychedelic jam band vein. This is another of the highlights here.
You Gotta Move On
Country music with more of that Grateful Dead thing is the concept here. This is another that works quite well.
This hard rocker is not bad, but does feel a bit awkward at times.
Folk music styled sounds are on hand here. This is another that just seems a little off. On this one, though, it's almost one of the charms of the cut. The intricate instrumental section mid-track is classy and rather prog rock like.
Scatter Brain
I really dig the acoustic guitar work that opens this. The cut has a lot of that Grateful Dead element at play. There is some noteworthy bass work on the piece.
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