Liquor Giants

America's #1 Recording Artists

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Ward Dotson's first album under the name the Liquor Giants (given the group's personnel turnover, it's fairly obvious this band is Dotson's baby first and foremost) bears the closest resemblance to the goofy swagger of his work with the late, lamented Pontiac Brothers, but while the tone is a bit more organic and rootsy than some of the Giants' later music (especially on tunes like "(I Wanna) Get Drunk With You" and "Paint the Whole Town Blue," which are dominated by Dotson's buzzy guitar leads), it doesn't take long to figure out Dotson is up to something different this time out. While the songs have a endearing sloppiness around the edges, they're also hooky and tuneful in a cleaner and more straightforward manner than one might have expected from Dotson, and numbers like "The Little Song" and "Lost on Mars" are not designed to appeal to fans of his "big rock dog" stuff. But the best moments on You're Always Welcome prove that Ward Dotson is one of the few guys who can write a solid, '60s-influenced pop song that's witty, boasts a good hook, and isn't pretentious or drowning in obvious influences. If the Posies knew how to think like the Replacements, they might have sounded a bit like the first edition of the Liquor Giants, though they still couldn't have made an album quite as much fun as You're Always Welcome. (You're Always Welcome was also released in Japan under the title America's #1 Recording Artists, where the joke probably seemed a bit less obvious than it would have in the States.)

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