Although he is best known as the lead vocalist and guitarist for Toronto's hard-rocking Deadly Snakes, Andre Ethier's first solo outing heads in a different direction than that of the Snakes. Recording live in the studio, Ethier was joined by longtime friend Christopher Sandes on piano and guitar and the enigmatically named Pickles and Price on bass and drums. During the recording process, there was a preference for first takes, and as a result the acoustic (and unwieldily titled) Andre Ethier With Christopher Sandes Featuring Pickles and Price is definitely a lot looser than the hepped-up garage rock the Deadly Snakes are known for, somewhere between Bob Dylan's more rollicking moments and Nick Cave's more unguarded contemplative moments. (Admittedly, the lyrics -- which tend toward death, violence, lowlifes, sin, and redemption -- are generally more Cave-esque, though it's possible you could mistake "Dear John" for a Dylan outtake if you were squinting.) You can definitely tell that this was done live in the studio with a minimum of fuss, because the album is charmingly unpolished, complete with mistakes. That's not a criticism, though: the loose, once-through feel makes it a much more personal album, like Ethier and his band are off in the next room, playing just for you -- all you need is the sound of beer bottles hitting the table and it's the soundtrack to a great night out.
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AllMusic Review by Sean Carruthers