A Piece of Work

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The three-piece band named after bassist/vocalist Wilma provides a sound that the venerable Pixies left behind. "Busted," on A Piece of Work, is like a slowed-down "Gigantic" by the Pixies, with a different melody, a different tune, and an attitude that rock & roll has missed. "Busted" is a hit -- and it comes right after another great title, "Fighting Song," with its excellent chorus "Run to the front/Don't run from the fight/Don't run and hide." These are tracks eight and nine, and they are followed by "Rock Whore," for three home runs in a row. "Rock Whore" brims with an intensity and plows a sound through the speakers that is gruff as it is subtle. Wilma has grasped the hooks that make for timeless rock & roll music, and her band throbs with sincerity. It is so hard to sift through the rock & roll quagmire that major labels generate on a weekly basis. Real A&R is going out and finding the Wilma bands of the world and signing 'em up. This crew has all the elements. There are 15 tracks on A Piece of Work and they pretty much stay within the two-and-a-half to three-and-a-half-minute range, little blasts of pop/rock that don't take too much thinking to enjoy. Johnny Marshall is on guitars and vocals, Paul Lobel is on drums and vocals, and if you want to really understand the power of this CD, play it next to A&R man Bob Pfeifer's After Words album on Passport. Just play any song from the A&R man's album and this disc by a hardworking three-piece unit and see which record you keep coming back to. It's that simple. From the opening riff of "Side Show" to the closing moments of "Drive Me Home," A Piece of Work is a really fascinating piece of work by a band that shows a lot of promise.

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