You're Killing Me

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Sidecar isn't a big name in the rock world, although the Cleveland-based group has been plugging away since 1995 and does have a small following (especially in the Midwest). It's regrettable that Sidecar isn't better known because You're Killing Me offers a respectable, if derivative, dose of alternative rock and punk-pop. One of the Ohio group's strongest influences is Hüsker Dü, a great ‘80s band that influenced everyone from the Pixies and the Replacements to the seminal Nirvana (whose members, of course, turned out to be amazingly influential themselves). Hüsker Dü were never superstars, but they still had a major impact on alternative rock--and they've obviously been an inspiration to Sidecar, whose You're Killing Me is as forceful and driving as it is melodic. Passionate tracks like "Too Much Man," "Pretty Submissive" and "The Beautiful Beginning" rock aggressively hard, but they also have a healthy appreciation of melody and a strong sense of pop-rock craftsmanship. No, You're Killing Me isn't groundbreaking and doesn't pretend to reinvent the wheel--again, Hüsker Dü and similar bands were doing this sort of thing in the ‘80s, and the members of Sidecar are really followers rather than leaders. But there is no law stating that all rockers have to be innovative; in fact, it's downright unrealistic to expect innovation from every new band that come along. However, there is nothing wrong with demanding quality from a band, and Sidecar does offer quality on this 2003 release. Forward-thinking? Definitely not. Inspired and heartfelt? Absolutely.

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