Better Off Dead

Girl With a Job

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In the vein of white-boy boogie blues masters such as George Thorogood and the Fabulous Thunderbirds, this band starts off with "Girl With a Job" and rarely strays from the beaten path. "Diggin' My Own Grave" has more of a jump blues arrangement to it. Tim Cassidy's harmonica also shines though on the number. But a few songs don't quite live up to expectations, especially "Mama Keep Your Big Mouth Shut." The track sounds like a band playing too tight, despite the best of intentions. Lead singer V.D. King has the "genuine foot stompin', house-rockin' R&B" style down to a science on songs such as "BBQ." It's also a track where each instrument is given a solo during the bridge, something the album could use a bit more of. When the group goes for a blues-country flavor on "Hole in My Heart" and "Sleepin' on the Sofa," it has mixed results at best. Lyrically, songs such as "Did Your Dog Bite the Landlord" won't be compared anytime soon to Lennon and McCartney, but that primal blues feel is present from start to finish. "Rockin' Is 'R' Business" recalls Bill Haley and particularly Chuck Berry during the multiple solos. One of the more unique songs is "Come Down off the Road," a song that has V.D. King's voice slightly muffled à la "Diggin' a Hole" by Big Sugar. The only problem is that it sounds rather aimless. "Sock It to 'Em JB" has an early and manic Jon Spencer Blues Explosion vibe to it while James Bond film titles litter the lyrics. Another shining moment is "Voodoo Doll," which features Alison LeBlanc's washboard and Arthur Zo's upright bass. The closing songs on the album remain true to the style, but tend to be a bit more melodic, particularly the instrumental "Gin and Tonics Tonight." This is an album that doesn't do anything new but continues to perfect a boogie blues style that works well when done well.

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