The Botswanas' Fade and You're Gone is an unassuming disc of ironic trash rock, if such a thing is possible. Driven by guitarist and primary songwriter Price Harrison, the album is hooked by countless cock rock conventions played as individual components. One can easily point out where certain elements came from: a Metallica riff here ("Pleasure Seeker"), an AC/DC chord change there ("Jennifer"). The band has a strong sense of pop music history, revealed deftly by their use of a Stax-style horn section on "Make It Black," which simultaneously reveals their knowledge of the horn section's function and uses that information to shape a horn-driven sound of their own. Most of the music never really gels beyond simple exercises, though. This, mostly, is due to a combination of Jim Balga's drumming and Eileen Ziontz' vocals. The former doesn't play with nearly enough force to drive the band. The latter's voice, unaccompanied, sounds thin. When it is doubled, it sounds too nice for the context. The Botswanas, who appear to be aiming to create themselves as a sort of post-punk version of the Ramones, fail at their primary task, but create an occasionally fun disc in the process.
Fade and You're Gone Review
by Jesse Jarnow