Troy Gregory

Sybil

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In the U.S. bicentennial year of 1976, there was Sybil, a made-for-TV "disease of the week" movie based on a popular paperback about a woman who had developed a number of distinct personalities as a way to cope with her vicious, mentally ill mother. It wasn't exactly a laugh riot and bummed out a lot of women who were actually named Sybil, but it did go a long way to help explain what a person with multiple-personality disorder went through on a daily basis. Some 25 years later, Detroit's Troy Gregory -- the leader of the Witchesand the man Kim Fowley once called "the son of Keith Richards and Syd Barrett, midwifed by Nick Lowe" -- has sullied the poor woman's name again. This time, however, the title Sybil represents the many and myriad musical personas that Gregory adopts on his first solo album. His "multiple personalities" are represented by backing by a different Detroit band on each track (including Bantam Rooster, the Dirtbombs, Outrageous Cherry, Slumber Party, the Volebeats, the Come Ons, and fellow Fall of Rome labelmates the Sights and They Come in Threes). The results, as you might expect, are widely varied, but nothing disappoints on this highly addictive and mind-expanding hybridization of recycled (but not retro) rock subgenres, particularly focusing on primal garage/psych-rock and sludge rock sounds. Examples of where Sybil seems to work best are, like most various artists-style compilations, stacked toward the front. The album gets off to a rollicking start with "Lice Cots N' Rabies Shots," with wonderfully damaged blues accompaniment byBantam Rooster, followed by the riotous "Leave the Ghost at Home," on which the Sights, surely one of the best groups coming from the Motor City, propel the song forward with sheer gusto-rock prowess with cowbell accents. Other highlights include the songs with Outrageous Cherry ("Regrets...I've Had a Few") and the Wild Bunch ("Dealin' in Death N' Stealin' in the Name of the Lord"), though Sybil will surely appeal to fans of any of the bands featured here.

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