Fireworks

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1st Rodeo - 'There Goes The Neighborhood' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/af/2a/7e/2226_1stRodeotheregoestheneighborhood_1338568756.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     June 01, 2012    
 
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Smooth Southern sass, with a hint of Country and some airy AOR piped in.

1st Rodeo songsmiths David Benn Tyson and Kevin Byron Craig are apparently eternal optimists. They'd have to be to expect this album to be be good. This Californian quartet start off by giving us some smooth Southern sass, with a hint of Country and some airy AOR piped in, but lots of other bands are doing it better and with more hooks.

The title track is nice, but insipid really, ‘It Takes More Than That’ really does, certainly more than a plastic backing and when you look up the word hackneyed on Wikipedia, there's a picture of ‘Follow’ next to it. But really it’s not all bad because 1st Rodeo can be fun, particularly in the downbeat lifestyle lyrics of the Bluegrass ‘Bottle Cap’ and when they try to hit a groove and manage it, with the Bad Company low slung riff driving ‘Harley Ride’ then stopping to pick up Skynyrd at their softest and the gentle organic simplicity of ‘Small Time America’ being particularly splendid. They can't keep it up though, and run out of puff by the half way mark, taking the line of least resistance, the one where good old boys linedance to anodyne MOR Country tunes.

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Yes, Country that's also MOR; like fascists with bad breath. The charts are full of it, easy listening Nashville nonsense. And so ‘World's Greatest Dad’ is as mawkish as you'd expect, with a sunny outlook but not half the grinning simplicity of ‘Work Me Out’ with a gentleness which could even be called cowardice. The soft flesh is exposed on closer ‘Up In Flames’; it's as flabby as a Greggs loyalty card holder.

This is OK. So much these days is. You don't deserve that. You pay for this stuff. A bit of humour and a Classic Blues Rock riff or two does not make a good album; there goes the neighbourhood? This one has an expensive Waitrose, a free school and a petition for more sleeping policemen.

Steve Swift

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