Frank Soda

In the Tube

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Frank Soda and the Imps were already a known quantity on the Toronto bar scene when they recorded their live debut, In the Tube. You can certainly hear why they were a popular attraction: Soda is a very accomplished guitar slinger, casually throwing off blistering licks as if they were an afterthought, and even if there is a lunkhead rock and roll sensibility in places, it's balanced out by a real off-kilter sensibility in others -- what else would you expect from someone who regularly blew up a television during his live show -- while it was on his head? When he's not playing blues (like he is in "Going Down the Tube Blues," a song he claims to have written for the audience at The Tube, the venue where this was recorded), Soda's style falls somewhere between Frank Zappa and Rush from about the same period. Indeed, the guitar tone and some of the riffs on this release have the same general feel as what Rush was doing at the same time, and you can even hear a few Geddy Lee-isms creeping into Soda's voice here and there. Thinking of this as a knock-off would be a mistake, though, because Soda is much more direct, both musically and lyrically. There are a number of songs here that were staples of Soda's live show: "Moon Man," "Break the Ice," "Turn the Kid Loose," and "Saturday Night Getaway" were eventually redone in the studio when Soda officially went solo two years later. The highlight here is "TV People," a longtime crowd favorite about getting brainwashed by television (and the inspiration for the exploding TV set headgear).

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