Aaron Challenge

REVIEW: Robert Pollard with Doug Gillard – Speak Kindly of Your Volunteer Fire Department (1999)

ATTENTION ALL PLANETS OF THE SOLAR FEDERATION! ATTENTION ALL PLANETS OF THE SOLAR FEDERATION! ATTENTION ALL PLANETS OF THE SOLAR FEDERATION! We have assumed control. We have assumed control. We have assumed control….

SATCHMO

 Welcome to an April Fools Day switcheroo!! Mike and I have told each other what to listen to for today’s post.  Fun times!! Initially, we were even gonna try to write in each others’ styles, and really try to fool you guys. But, as you’ll see from the album choices, it might have been a nigh on impossible task!

For Mike, I chose Robert Pollard & Doug Gillard’s ‘Speak Kindly Of Your Volunteer Fire Department,’ largely because Mike awesomely found it and bought it for me in Ottawa, but I already had it, so I said he should rock it himself! But it’s awesome that he’ll get to hear a bit of the MAJESTY of Bob Pollard! I can’t wait to read what he says about it…

And for me, Mike has chosen Deep Purple’s In Rock (for which I thank him profusely). And here is where I really worried about trying to write like Mike for a post. That man KNOWS his Deep Purple, and there’s no way I could bring perspective to an album he’s heard for years and probably has coded directly into his DNA by now. It just wouldn’t work. You’d all know it wasn’t Mike!

Anyway, we hope you enjoy this April Fools site switcheroo! Let’s get in there and GIVE ‘ER!!

A

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Scan_20160325 (3)ROBERT POLLARD with DOUG GILLARD – Speak Kindly of Your Volunteer Fire Department (1999 Luna)

Guided By Voices have always eluded me.  Aaron says they’re brilliant but not for everybody.  This Robert Pollard “duo” album with Doug Gillard looks really interesting.  Let’s see if I’m everybody or not!

“Frequent Weaver Who Burns” is instantly likeable.  The lo-fi but genuine recording sounds right out of 1969, and the song recalls some of the best hippie rock bands from that era.  I hear a hint of 54-40’s “I Go Blind” in the guitar, but this is far more ambitious, as it descends into dance music madness.  “Soul Train College Policeman” (how the hell do they come up with these titles?) is different and indescribable, but “Pop Zeus” is brilliant.  Simple guitar melodies weave together with layers of rhythm guitars creating a power-pop rock track without embellishment.

Most of these songs are short bursts of ideas; in and out and no nonsense.  The longest track at 4:20 is “Slick as Snails”, a slow and enticing exercise in mixing sweet notes with sour notes and making a delectable concoction regardless.  Regal guitar chords keep the ship from running aground.  Power pop returns on “Do Something Real”, a simple guitar riff melded with an unorthodox melody.  In fact the album in general is built from these ingredients.  The guitars retain catchy rhythms, often classic sounding in nature.  Meanwhile the vocals are not constrained to sing anything simple or straightforward.  The lo-fi tape hiss and nature of the recordings do not detract; they enhance.  “Life is Beautiful” sounds as if recorded in the can.  Mix in a smidgen of psychedelia.  There is also a contrasting bombast on the album, a power just bursting at the seams.  Drama is often the companion of the arrangements, “Port Authority” being a fine example of this.  The short tunes meld influences varied far and wide.  Aaron hears the Who, and it’s there, and I think I even picked up on some Ace Frehley in the ring of the guitars.

Speak Kindly of Your Volunteer Fire Department comes highly recommended for the musically fearless.

4.5/5 stars

 

 

REVIEW: Stone Country – The Songs of the Rolling Stones (Various)

The sixth review from Mike and Aaron Go to Toronto…Again!  This CD was given to me by A himself.
This is also a SIMULTANEOUS REVIEW!  The far more Stones-knowledgeable Aaron has reviewed the same album today: take a look!

STONE COUNTRY – Country artists perform the songs of the Rolling Stones (1997 Beyond Music)

STONE COUNTRY_0005Country artists covering the Stones? Sure, why not?  You might be surprised by the common ground exhibited here on Stone Country.

You can’t mistake “Honky Tonky Woman” right from that opening cowbell.  Travis Tritt sounds natural performing this one, because it’s already so country.  I dig it.  Travis Tritt’s always been one of those country guys who I respected.  He didn’t seem like a sell-out to me.  And he’s never cut his hair either, so fuck yeah!  This is a very rocking country version, and it sounds very alive in the studio.  It has some serious thump too.

Tracy Lawrence on the other hand, I wrote off years ago, because if you hit a woman, you lose my respect.  However I gotta be honest — I dig his version of “Paint It, Black”.  I told Aaron a while ago, “I never need to hear another cover of that song,” but I was wrong.  I can add this one to my library without shame.  It’s cool how the exotic and country sides meet without conflict in this version, and there are cool solos (organ and guitar) to boot!

STONE COUNTRY_0003“Ruby Tuesday” by Deana Carter, on the other hand, doesn’t “rock” per se, but it’s “Ruby Tuesday” and it doesn’t suck!  It’s softer and has some twang in the vocal and fiddle, but the strings are still there pumping up the chorus.  Up next, “The Last Time” is transformed into a bar room country chug by The Tractors.  There’s plenty of cool  guitar playing to keep you satisfied, but this isn’t one of my favourite Stones tunes to begin with.

Rodney Crowell then takes a challenge upon himself with “Jumpin’ Jack Flash”.  What an iconic song, and inherently youthful and edgy.  He changes the guitar riff to a fiddle one, and holy shit!  It works!  This track smokes!  There’s even a sax solo.  How rock n’ roll!  High five, Rodney.

STONE COUNTRY_0002Sammy Kershaw has sold a lot of records over the years, but I truthfully don’t know if I’ve ever listened to him before.  He chose to cover the ballad “Angie”, a bold choice, since it relies so heavily on the voice.  The gamble paid off.  “Angie” does not stray far from the original, and it’s amazing how well Mick’s idiosyncratic vocal delivery works with a little twang in it.   Well done Mr. Kershaw, you have a great voice.  Respect!

Blackhawk transform “Wild Horses” into a fast bluegrass ramble.  I’m reminded of Blue Rodeo in a big way, who have plenty of songs that sound this way naturally.  I’m not too keen on the vocals, but there is some serious pickin’ going on here!  I don’t think I had ever heard Blackhawk before this.  I can say the same for Collin Raye: heard of him, never heard him.  Raye takes on “Brown Sugar” which has a great guitar sound.  This sounds like a good bar band’s take on the song, which is all you really need.  It’s punchy, and would work great just before a bar fight in a seedy strip club in some Bruce Willis cop movie.

I’m on record with “Beast of Burden” being one of my fave Stones tunes of all time.  It’s untouchable to me.  So Little Texas (out of Nashville!) have a lot to prove to me.  But shit, they managed to do it!  The song still has that swanky sway, punchy bass, and it does not suck, until the “pretty pretty girl” breakdown in the middle.  Other than that, it’s pretty good.  Then country veteran Nanci Griffith does “No Expectations”, which was originally a B-side, so kudos to her.  It was originally a slide guitar country song anyway, but Griffith takes it up in tempo and mood.  Just one comment:  what a voice!

Saving the biggest name for last, George Jones sings “Time Is on My Side”, not a Stones original but a song they did make famous.  This slow dance is perfectly suited to Jones’ balladeering.  I can picture in my mind the ladies in the audience swaying to the sound of Jones’ spoken word section.

Aaron reckons that he found this CD for no more than $2.  In that case I say money well spent!

3.5/5 stars

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REVIEW: Paul MacLeod – Gauge (2011)

The fifth and latest review from Mike and Aaron Go to Toronto…Again!  Aaron gave me this CD…thank you dude!

This is also a SIMULTANEOUS REVIEW!  Aaron has reviewed the same album today: take a look!

GAUGE_0002PAUL MacLEOD – Gauge (2011 Busted Flat Records)

I’ve wanted to check out some solo Paul MacLeod for a while now.  I’m a huge fan of the one and only album he released with Hibakusha, the best album Rush never made.  Gauge is not like Hibakusha.  Gauge is an acoustic record, a format that does not always appeal to me.  In this case, the attraction was immediate.  These songs are incredible.

The proceedings commence with the old-tymey fun of “Be My Girl”.  Even though it’s a MacLeod original, it sounds like it could have been written in the 1930’s.  I love that about it.  If you put scratchy record sounds over it, you might not be able to tell it’s actually from 2011. “Change Your Life” on the other hand sounds more contemporary.   It has a hymn-like quality to it.  It’s very serene.

GAUGE_0003“December” sounds almost as if it was recorded live.  I’ll point out MacLeod’s excellent picking skills here.  He lets his fingers speak.  Then, the song “Hero” sounds like something that would be excellent in an electric band format.  It boasts big verses and a catchy acoustic riff.  “The Trickster” is whimsical and lullaby-like.  MacLeod lends it a theatrical flair with his expressive voice, which seems to change from song to song.  The funny thing about that is, just as I’m really getting into all the different voices he can use, the very next track is called “Instrumental”, and that’s exactly what it is.  It’s also just lovely.  “Stop” is delicate, much like the preceding instrumental.

“Another White Band” is different yet again, upbeat this time, with an incredible chorus.  Again, I can’t help but think the song would benefit from an electric version.  Then, the final track is “It Belongs to You”, a sad sounding ballad.  But check out that guitar melody and chords.  They are transcendent, to me.  There’s something pure and classic about them.

Boy, am I glad Aaron gave me this CD.  Thanks buddy.  This is one that, I suspect, is going to grow near and dear to my heart.

4.5/5 stars

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REVIEW: Herbie Hancock – Quartet (1982)

Not really a part of the Aaron Challenge, but he did turn me onto this album.

HERBIE HANCOCK – Quartet (1982 Columbia Records)

I find it really hard to:

1) review albums outside my comfort zone, and

2) verbalize thoughts about instrumental music.

I will say this.  One glance at the back cover photos tells me all I need to know about Quartet.  The back cover of this CD screamed to me, “Open me now, because I will thoroughly blow your mind.”  Which is exactly what happened.  The Quartet are Herbie Hancock (piano), Ron Carter (bass), Wynton Marsalis (trumpet), and Tony Williams (drums).

HERBIE QUARTET

I fell in love with “Well You Needn’t” at exactly the 5:12 mark.  It’s an incredible performance to start with, bass and drums dueling with trumpet and piano, but in harmony.  At 5:12 though, it’s just momentarily otherworldly.  It’s synchronicity, and Carl Jung would have pooped his pantaloons if he’d lived long enough to hear it.

“‘Round Midnight” is a Thelonious Monk standard, as is “Well You Needn’t”.  It’s a nice laid back smoky barroom jazz, piano occasionally stealing the spotlight from the muted trumpet.  This song has me seeing black & white, like an old movie.  It picks up halfway through, with trumpet un-muted, and drums throwing cool beats out left right and center.

Ron Carter plays some wicked bass on “Clear Ways”.  “A Quick Sketch” is anything but quick, clocking in over 16 minutes long.  It sets a scene, again like a movie.  There’s some intrigue going on.  It’s lyrical, the instruments are telling a story.  “The Eye of the Hurricane” is frantic.  Its swift pace seems to inspire flurries of instrumental genius.

“Parade”, then, is the opposite; it’s quiet and deliberate.  Herbie’s piano is sublime.  It picks up a bit after a couple minutes, and it does contain some pretty manic solos.  This leads into “The Sorcerer”, a 7 minute workout with some blistering Wynton Marsalis trumpet work.

“Pee Wee” is another smokey barroom number, piano fluttering while the trumpet takes center stage.  Then it’s the piano’s turn, and it’s another lyrical moment. The final song is the ballad “I Fall In Love Too Easily”.  It’s now closing time at that smokey bar.  A few patrons remain but tables are being wiped down and chairs put away.  Last call.

At almost 70 minutes, Quartet was a double album.  Now on CD it’s a single disc, and if you can find the time to play the whole thing in one sitting I would strongly recommend that experience.

5/5 stars

REVIEW: Ani DiFranco – Little Plastic Castle (1998)

Part 3 of the Aaron Challenge:  He has challenged me to get out of my comfort zone.  Together, we will be reviewing some of the albums he bought in Toronto during Record Store Excursion 2012.  I’ve never heard any of these albums before, in fact I know almost nothing about most of these bands.  But I do know I sold a lot (a lot!) of Ani DiFranco during my time at the record store.

Aaron paid $2.99 for this, at Sonic Boom Music.

Check out his review here!

Ani_DiFranco_-_Little_Plastic_Castle

ANI DIFRANCO – Little Plastic Castle (1998 Righteous Babe)

I remember working at the store back in ’98, and the general reception from Ani DiFranco fans to this album was positive, but mildly critical.  There was a vibe that she had sold out for bigger success.  That was just what I was hearing.

Having not heard the previous albums, all I can say is good music is good music.  Yes, the production is lush and not what you’d think of “indy”.  Listen to those mariachi horns on the title track.  Not exactly low-fi.  But it sounds great!  What an upbeat, entertaining track.  Awesome.  Not to mention her guitar work is excellent.  The lyrics seem to be about public perception of what she should and should not be.

“Fuel” is one I’d heard before from Aaron.  I liked that one too.  I like when she’s goofy. This is beat poetry with a backing band.  Normally I go for a lead vocal with melody, but this works due to Ani’s well-composed expression.  From there it’s on to “Gravel”, a fast melodic one with more dexterous picking from Ani.  Another great tune, with melody to spare.    It’s a sparse arrangement, just guitar and voice with some percussion, and that’s it.

Drums introduce “As Is”, a soft pleasant song with barely audible keyboards in the background.  It’s laid back and slightly mournful but also playful, and pretty much perfect as is (pun intended).  “Two Little Girls” is dark, a tale of a difficult childhood.  Ani’s excellent picking, and a bouncy backing bassline, makes it entertaining, but lyrically it seems loaded with pain.

“Deep Dish” is the first song I didn’t enjoy.  It features samples and long spoken word bit, and is very rhythmic.  It did nothing for me, though.  Sorry Ani.  Nothing personal!  “Loom” however is a brief (under 3 minutes) explosion of drums and acoustic picking, more along the lines of what I like.  “Pixie” follows, one I didn’t click with.  Ani sings in a soft whisper, expressive as ever, I just didn’t like the song.  It didn’t have enough melody or punch for me.

A long song, “Swandive”, is a bit of a change of pace since most of the previous tunes were in the 4 minute range.  This one builds slowly.  “I’m gonna do my best swan dive, into shark infested waters,” sings Ani, while picking more of those great guitar parts.  “Glass House” totally changes the pace, with a bouncy wah-wah infested bass melody intro.  This is great.  I didn’t see that coming, nor the weird caterwauling trumpet that followed it!  Ani then whispers the lyrics, underlined by a pulsing bass, with the odd electronic effect.  Then just as you’re getting used to it, the drums kick in, accelerating the tune forward, and the vocals get angry.  Ani is nothing if not diverse, I’m learning, even within one song.

“Independence Day” is a beautiful song, melodic and passionate, slow and pretty.  A hit song in any just world.  The final song, “Pulse”, is another slow builder, with a beat poetry vibe to the verses.  It’s not brief either!  14 minutes!  It sounds a bit like a jam, but I wonder, since the whole album has more of a vibe of being carefully assembled rather than jammed out.

Little Plastic Castle is an excellent sounding album.  The guitars are lush, full and clear.  The snare drum sound is perfect. Production-wise, it’s a total triumph (and self-produced by Ani).  I think the album tends to sag a bit in the middle, after such a fine start, but it’s still a great album.

4/5 stars

MIKE AND AARON GO TO TORONTO

REVIEW: Bidiniband – The Land is Wild

Part 2 of the Aaron Challenge:  He has challenged me to get out of my comfort zone.  Together, we will be reviewing some of the albums he bought in Toronto during Record Store Excursion 2012.  I’ve never heard any of these albums before, in fact I know almost nothing about most of these bands.  This time, I’m going into it at least knowing the Dave Bidini was in the Rheostatics!

Aaron paid $7.99 for each of these discs, at Sonic Boom Music.

Check out his thoughts on the exact same album right here!

For a cool interview with Bidini himself, check out my buddy Patrick Finch’s article right here!

the land is wild

BIDINIBAND – The Land is Wild

Last time, I took a look at In the Rock Hall, without knowing a thing about Dave Bidini.  Now, I’m a little more prepared.  And it just so happens that The Land is Wild is a very different kind of album, much catchier and more immediate.

Album opener, “Desert Island Poem”, is a beautiful acoustic guitar/piano tune with clever lyrics:  “Rheostatics eat their drummer,” and “Martin ran out of the van,” and then references to the incredible Drumheller Alberta, one of my favourite places in the world.  But lyrics aside, melodically and instrumentally this is just a great song.

Some more beautiful acoustics open track #2, “Memorial Day”.  It features one of my favourite instruments, under utilized in rock music: the clarinet.  It’s a slow mournful number juxtaposed with that playful clarinet.  This being Dave Bidini though, of course it takes a twist.  At 3 minutes it becomes more electric and distorted, but without losing direction.

“We Like To Rock” is a gleeful number with some catchy electric guitar licks.  It’s a melodic winner, I like this song a lot.  “This is how we like to live!  This is why we’ll never stop!  This is how we like to live, it’s how we like to rock!”  And how do they like to rock?  Not in any generic way, that is for sure.  This song is unique as any Bidini I have heard thus far, yet it’s a bit more straightforward and to the point.

The next song, “Take A Wild Ride” isn’t even a minute long and it strikes me as something jokey.  But fear not, for “Terrorize Me Now” is next, with an unforgettable chorus and a reference to both Malcolm and Roddy McDowell!  It’s just as playful as all the previous songs, with some intricate guitar parts and lush backing vocals.   I would have liked to have found the lyrics to this song online; no such luck though.

A longer song is up next, the title track, over six minutes, and little more along the lines of what I grew to expect from the last Bidini album I heard, In the Rock Hall.  It’s a bit more challenging, with some atonal guitar feedback, atypical drum beats, and different sections.  Good stuff.

“Last Good Cigarette” is a song I can’t relate to, lyrically, never having smoked one in my life.  Musically though, this is another nice acoustic number, with plenty of intricate guitar parts hanging around in the mix to grab my attention.   It’s over too soon though, and then we’re into the next one, “Song Ain’t Any Good”.  This is a funny self-deprecating number:

This song ain’t any good,
It’s not quiet, it’s not loud,
Its lyrics are warm and tepid,
Of them I’m not very proud.
This song ain’t any good,
You prob’ly heard these chords before,
Its melody is dry and chalky,
The words are lonely cold and boring.

He’s wrong though.  This song is great!

Then comes the 8 minute epic, “How Zeke Roberts Died”.  I had to look up who Zeke Roberts was (an old NFL player apparently, but I can’t figure out the lyrical connection).   This is a cool folk rock tune with several people taking lead vocals.  I love songs with multiple lead vocalists and this is a great one.  Awesome tune.

After such an epic, the playful “Pornography” came as a surprise.  It begins with a programmed drum beat and another humourous lyric.  For better or for worse, you’ll be walking around the house singing “Pornography, pornography…” after playing the album.  Be forewarned!  Ironically the song seems to be more about George W Bush than pornography!

“The Continuing Story Of Canadiana And Canadiandy” has more of that tasty guitar pickin’ that I love.  And of course, it also has more of those humourous lyrical acrobatics.  Another gleeful winner.  The guitar work is insane.

And then, the end:  “The Ballad of 1969” is an 8 minute epic, so the Bidiniband is not leaving you without filling your head with rock.  Delicate drums and electric guitars introduce the piece.  Eventually this morphs into surf rock “ooh ooh oohs” and riffing, but like many Bidini tracks it has multiple sections.  These songs have to be a bitch to play live!

But wait!  A hidden track about Tim Horton’s emerges?  And then…”Chad Kroeger, Chad Kroeger, you’re killing us now.”  Amen brother!  (This track is apparently called “The List”.)

This album is a hell of a lot more immediate than In the Rock Hall, but yet maintains the challenging arrangements and clever, tongue-in-cheek lyrics.  Strongly recommended.

4/5 stars

MIKE AND AARON GO TO TORONTO

REVIEW: Bidiniband – In The Rock Hall

I’m done my series of Maiden reviews, so Aaron has challenged me to get out of my comfort zone.  Together, we will be reviewing some of the albums he bought in Toronto during Record Store Excursion 2012.  I’ve never heard any of these albums before, in fact I know almost nothing about most of these bands.  Here’s part 1.  Enjoy. (?)

Look for another Bidini feature on January 25.

Check out Aaron’s take here:

BIDINIBAND – In The Rock Hall

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BIDINIBAND – In The Rock Hall

I know nothing about Dave Bidini, I know nothing about this band, and I know nothing about this album.  I didn’t cheat by reading up on them, or reading other reviews.  I truly went into In The Rock Hall blindly with open ears.

It’s obvious these guys don’t give a crap about commercial songwriting.  Anything considered standard, radio-friendly, or easy is tossed out the window in short order.  The songs twist and turn through different, sometimes contradictory sounding sections.  It sounds like it was painstakingly composed, piece by piece.  This is all good — I like a challenging listen.  It’s all done with a wink and a smile.  They sound like they’d be very loud, live.  It’s also obvious they love their ganja, as the subject comes up more than once!

The guitar work is striking.  Like I said, I didn’t do any cheating to learn more about this album, so I have no idea who the guitar player is, but he or she has weaved together some unorthodox hooks.  Riffs and melodies strike you from the speakers, demanding that you pay attention!

“I Wanna Go To Yemen” crosses acoustic riffing, latin-sounding clapping, unusual beats and electric guitars with some pretty funny lyrics:

I wanna go to Yemen,
I wanna go with you,
We’ll get high in the morning,
And in the afternoon

It defies categorization, which is a good thing.  I’m not too keen on the singer’s flat vocals, I’m hoping they will grow on me.  It reminds me of Pavement, a band I’m not too into.  But it demanded a second listen, on which it grew further.

“On Camoragh Lake” starts with annoying beeps and gratuitous “fucks”.  It’s pretty tuneless until you get to the chorus, which features some nice electric chords and female backing vocals.  The song takes a turn around the 2 minute mark, getting a bit more passionate and noisy.  It has some guitar squeaking that would make both Joe Satriani and Tom Morello happy.  This annoying song gets more and more catchy as it goes on.  It grows on you, with more listens.

Third is “Big Men Go Fast on the Water” (well, it was true for Vince Neil)!  This is the most melodic and straightforward tune thus far, very enjoyable.  This is the first song I can say I truly enjoyed from start to finish on first listen.

Another great tune follows, the passionate “Last of the Big Dead Things”.  This dark, acoustic, beautiful tune was instantaneous.  But just when you think you know what’s going to happen next, they go into a shouted section at 3 minutes, and then a quiet whisper.

“Needle Beach / Outdoor Motors” has a vague (but only vague) surf-rock sound, but it’s more distorted and twisty/turny than that.  I’m not sure why the band seems to be obsessed with water themes, but hey, it’s all good.  This one’s a bit too odd to get on first listen, but it does hit a catchy vocal part towards the end.

Better is “Hey Paul and Donna”, a nice acoustic one with a great chorus.  “Hey Paul and Donna, I’m glad you took the train to Taranna!”  That’s Toronto, for those who don’t know!  It has a vintage 1960’s sound, and is probably the simplest, instantly catchy song on the album.

“Popcorn” features some intricate catchy guitar licks.  It’s also a pretty simple catchy tune, the melody doesn’t do much for me, but that guitar part is truly great.  I wish I could play that effortlessly.  At 2:40 it takes another twist, with female vocals, almost sounding Christmas-carol-y.

Distorted robot vocals usher in “The Best Thing About The 80’s Was You”, complete with apropos drum programs.  If you like 80’s music, this is a whimsical homage.  If you don’t, like me, this one built for the skip button.  It’s all tongue in cheek, but it’s not for me.  “‘The Final Countdown’, the 80’s was you!”

There’s nothing simple about “Eunoia”, a 10 minute monster.  It starts as a poem, with Tom Waits-esque backing music and noise.  Then it goes into some nice guitar chords and understated vocal melody.  It’s powerful and melodic.  As you can imagine, it has multiple sections, each with some incredible guitar work, demanding that I pay attention.  Just when I’m getting tired of one section, it twists into something else.

Up next is the percussive “Earth (Revisited)”, a humourous retelling of human history.  It’s anchored by relentless drumming, and plenty of ooh’s and ahh’s.

The album closes with another long one, the title track, “In The Rock Hall”.  Somewhat obviously, this one is about the Hall of Fame in Cleveland, but with a tongue in cheek.  The lyrics are amusing, musically I felt like we’d already visited this territory.

Coming up with a simple rating is not easy.  One cannot overlook the chops, the unorthodox stylings, the variety, and the refusal to keep things simple.  On the other hand, I found the ooh’s, ahh’s, and la-la-la’s tiring, as well as the perpetually flat lead vocals.  I don’t know how often I’d want to come back to this one.  Striking a balance, I’ll rate In The Rock Hall:

3/5 stars

MIKE AND AARON GO TO TORONTO