Foghat

Girls to Chat & Boys to Bounce

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By the time Girls to Chat & Boys to Bounce hit record stores in 1981, it had been ten years since Foghat had released their first American single "I Just Want to Make Love to You," and even though the veteran London blues/boogie rock outfit had a rather long list of commercial accomplishments, the wavering quality and focus of their music in the late '70s had shaken the band's core fan base and slight critical appeal. The stomp and the swagger were replaced by glitter and global tours, rust turned to chrome, howlin' blues to raunch and roll. So bandleader Lonesome Dave Peverett continued an experiment he had tentatively begun a year earlier on Tight Shoes: drawing on new musical influences from the burgeoning punk and new wave scene in and around London. While not exactly a new wave recording, certain tracks on the Bearsville release, especially the ode to London pub thuggery "Wide Boys," are decidedly minimal, modern, and just plain un-bluesy. In general, the arrangements on the record are sparse, the songs and solos are short, and the sound is tighter throughout -- with tracks like "Let Me Get Close to You," "Wide Boys," and "Delayed Reaction" being the best examples of the bizarre commingling of a Elvis Costello influence with Foghat's reflexive blues sensibilities. An interesting effort, Girls to Chat & Boys to Bounce might actually captivate extremely open-minded new wave fans and Foghat completists.

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