The Incurables “The Fine Art of Distilling”
St. Louis musician Jimmy Griffin is a virtuoso guitarist that has a band with more than enough ability to create memorable singles in a “Wings meets Wallfowers” style. Starting with “16 Lines” its a masterful use of the slow building verse to a rich chorus. “Fall So Hard” has a great barroom jangle, very much in the Tom Petty meets Beatles mode. The unassuming song dresses its melodies with breaks full of amazing Stratocaster solo magic. Griffin’s raspy vocal is perfectly suited to “Famous Last Words” with Byrdsian styled riffs and lovely male-female harmonies. This is followed by “FM” a gem about the loss of the art of radio DJ where he asks “Is there anyone alive on the other side of my radio?” All the tracks grow on you and have surprising lyrical depth, like the subtle “Wish” and the hook filled “I Will Burn” which remind me of the Honeydogs. You’ll also here echos of The Stones on “Break the Heart of the World.” Highly Recommended!
Labradors “Growing Back”
Hard rocking band from Italy in the vein of Sugar, Weezer, and Nada Surf. One would never know, as they sound exactly like most American rock bands without any accent. “Punch” starts out the hard charging set with its punk undertones where they sing “I deserve a punch in my face,” and “Be My Camille” sound almost identical to The Virgins. “Astrology” has a Thin Lizzy-like swagger and then “Sundance” finally gets laid back and casual… remember Sugar Ray? While everything here sounds good, its a case of having the influences prevent the band from really standing out on its own. The vocals are also uneven, occasionally they’ll use dissonant punk harmonies that just don’t work. However, a handful of tracks are memorable including “Afraid/Happy” and the Guided By Voices-like “Some Of The Kids.” Give it a try.