30 Odd Foot of Grunts

Gaslight

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As tempting as it is to simply dismiss 30 Odd Foot of Grunts as nothing more than a vanity project, it is worth noting that, as far as folk-rock bands go, they're not bad. It's true that, as a vocalist, Russell Crowe has far more attitude than range, and it's also true that the slow numbers are by far the weakest songs the band has. The lyrics to the ballad "You Treat Me Like Chocolate," for instance, are so overwrought ("You treat me like chocolate/something to eat between meals") that it's tempting to believe they're a parody, rather than simply embarrassing. Still, the more upbeat, rock-oriented material, such as "What's Her Name," actually works quite well, possibly due to the presence of an audience. The slower songs, by contrast, simply sound pleasant but forgettable; the kind of background music cranked out by many other bands without 30 Odd Foot of Grunts' profile. None of the songs are truly incompetent, but neither are they earth-shattering, and ultimately, Gaslight, while not unlistenable, is little more than a pleasant diversion.

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