Extended Play

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Despite their on-again/off-again history, Gingersol created quite a buzz on the Los Angeles rock scene of the mid-'90s. Perhaps part of the reason the band couldn't consistently hold it together was because despite being critically lauded, they only made it into the recording studio for a single EP, the solid Extended Play. Brothers Phil and Steve Tagliere led the band in its first incarnation, and their viscous, melodic roots rock deserved a far better fate than it received. The group's music is akin to that of the Replacements, but without the punk attitude, and with a little of the chunky cacophony of Crazy Horse thrown in -- all propelled by a rhythm section schooled in the raucous lope of country-rock. The members of Gingersol, though, are more proficient musicians than their influences, and they leave few sloppy threads hanging from the music. What's left behind are thrilling, gut-thumping songs with heaviness to spare, such as "Magazine," which would not have sounded out of place on a Nirvana album. Extended Play wouldn't be half as invigorating as it is if the songs didn't have the explosive melodies that they do. Steve Tagliere's songwriting is grounded in the pop aesthetic, and he clearly has a firm grasp of the art of creating appealing hooks. His voice, too, has the sort of idiosyncratic, rustic charm that is as cozy as the music is propulsive. Ultimately, the tunes aren't quite as distinctive as the ones Tagliere would soon write, but that takes nothing away from the simple, direct delights of the music.