Those Pretty Wrongs “Those Pretty Wrongs”
Those Pretty Wrongs is the collaboration of Big Star drummer Jody Stephens and good friend Luther Russell. The album was recorded using Big Star’s old instruments, including Chris Bell’s acoustic and electric guitars from the great #1 Record. As a result, the opener “Ordinary” sounds like a long lost Big Star track, with Stephens doing a moving vocal performance and some sweet backing harmonies delivering the message that its “okay to be ordinary.”
From there, “I’m For Love” is has an upbeat 1970s radio-friendly melody and strong guitar solo. “Lucky Guy” again uses that indelible acoustic guitar and harmonies similar in style to David Crosby or Jeff Larson. “Empty City” is likely the best song here with a grand piano melody, similar to Pet Sounds in spots. From there it moves into more indie folk pop with the exception of the “The Cube,” with its creeping chords and circus piano touches. While Stephens vocals strain at times, its the songs that ultimately make this album a success. Highly Recommended.
Corey Landis and The Attacks “Corey Landis and The Attacks”
Corey Landis is a piano rocker, along the lines of Ben Folds and early Billy Joel as he bangs away on the keys with a flair for the melodic and dramatic. Add to this, the album was produced by legendary Beatles audio engineer Geoff Emerick. On the opener “Accident” he marvels at the flashing lights and broken glass, rather than confront his own issues, with an energetic tempo. “Hard Reaction To Love” and “See You Next Tuesday” is about a dysfunctional love-hate relationship, with the former being a stronger melody.
While Landis vocals are a bit strained on “All Things” his furious piano work makes up for it, and he slows the tempo on “Loose Ends” and “Depleted.” Overall the song craft and the story telling are first rate, but many tunes miss the hooks needed to encourage repeat plays. Landis loosens up a bit more towards the albums end, and “The Ballad of Mikey Stone” and “Dress For The Weather” are a lot of fun and worth adding to your playlist for sure.