Sweatin' Like Nixon

Fishing in Political Waters

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On their debut release, Sweatin' Like Nixon pursues a very specific brand of eclectic sound: the standard blend of white-boy funk rhythms (originated by Steely Dan and repackaged by the Spin Doctors) and vague composition that clearly derives from Frank Zappa. Why suburban bands chase this sound is a mystery. Perhaps it, along with ska, is the natural soundtrack to suburbia -- the latent sound hovering in the air, a natural mix of American music that filters through television, radio, and films. Like many jam bands, Sweatin' Like Nixon attempts to infuse derivative sounds with some degree of soulfulness, which is usually highly unsuccessful. Also like many, Sweatin' Like Nixon try to cram as many styles as they can into the span of a single disc (in some cases, a single song) -- the transitions between Blues Traveler-like pop into ska-rap on "Ode to USA," for instance. Generally, though, the band plays with an unfortunate lack of aggression.

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