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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Locate Your Lips

For Kenny

Review by Gary Hill

This might not be a familiar name for you, but Locate Your Lips were apparently well-known in their hometown of Milwaukee in the 1980s. The band was made up of guitarist Jim Eannelli, bassist Andy Cavaluzzi and drummer Kenny Baldwin. These recordings, both live and studio, date to 1984 and 1985 but were previously unreleased. The whole double CD set is dedicated to the late Baldwin and is a tribute to his memory.  The band's sound is of the time, with power-pop, punk and more. The live recordings have a rawer, more pure punk vibe, while the studio ones are more rich and polished. Still, it's all strong, and they really stretch the limits of the genre throughout the set.

This review is available in book (paperback and hardcover) form in Music Street Journal: 2021  Volume 6. More information and purchase links can be found at: garyhillauthor.com/Music-Street-Journal-2021.

Track by Track Review
Disc One:
                 
Recorded Live
                    
WQFM Disc Jockey's Intro

This is, as you might guess, a spoken introduction.

Stethoscope
Driving punky sounds with a lot of old school rock and roll in the mix is on the agenda here. This is a powerhouse opening tune.
Alive
Driving hard rock is at the heart of this. It's decidedly punk and strong.
It Seems Like
A little mellower and hook laden, this is a power-pop styled punky rocker. It's a nice change. This fires out into more intense rocking further down the road.
Get Away
80s-styled punky pop rock makes up this accessible tune. It's a  particularly effective song. It makes me think of Elvis Costello in some ways.
I Can Take It
This has some pretty cool changes, seeming to bring some funk, garage band and psychedelia to the table. This is a highlight of the first disc. It has some reggae in the mix, too.
No Reason
Garage band and 60s rock seem to merge here. This is another highlight of this first disc.
I Can't Take Another Taste of This
Now, this one really makes me think of Elvis Costello. It's a strong and energetic song with some tasty riffs.
Got a Lot of Nice Things
This is a much punkier cut. It's packed full of style and ferocity. It works really well. I really dig the guitar sound on this track.
No Refuge
Fierce and both classic sounding and punky, this is a particularly dramatic tune. I like this a lot.
This World
With some reggae in the mix, this is solid, but not one of the highlights of the show.
Waiting for You to Run

Fierce punk drives this song. It's a stomper that's among the better stuff here.

Dance or Die
The energy on this is good. It doesn't work as well as some of the other for me, though.
Cosmopolite
This is another classy live song. At the end a DJ tells us what we've just been hearing.
Disc Two:
                      
In Studio
                    
Got a Lot of Time

There is a lot of magic and charm to this piece. It's a dramatic 80s style rocker.

Cosmopolite
I really dig the catchy, power-pop meets punk vibe of this number. It's a classy tune.
De Lon Jon
There is a real accessible pop rock vibe to this. It feels tied to a lot of the rock of the 1960s. It's another winner. There is a cool excursion into psychedelia at the end.
Can't Take Another Taste of This
I dig this 80s styled rocker. It's pop oriented but has some meaty, punky edges to it.
Take off Your Clothes
This is a strange, trippy exploration that seems to merge psychedelia, jazz and more. As odd as it is, it's also compelling.
Indecision
The middle section of this cut calls to mind 80s King Crimson. The whole song is classy, though, even if more like the other material here.
It's a Beautiful Day
Dramatic and driving, this is another standout cut. It's hard rocking and arsty. I can make out hints of psychedelia and prog in the mix.
Alive
Here we get another solid rocker. The hooks on this piece manage to make it stand tall. I really dig the instrumental section later.
If You Could Have Anything
With a punky edge, this has power-pop and more in the mix.
Bonus Tracks:
Live at "The Boardwalk" Club Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Staring Slowly
Fierce and punky, this is a lot of fun.
This Conversation
I like the bass work on this a lot. The cut is another solid punky tune.
You Got No Taste
The closer isn't a big change, but rather another potent tune.
 
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