Jack Grisham

Jack Grisham and the West Coast Dukes

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Greg Kuehn was an absolute revelation when he joined Grisham's T.S.O.L. for their 1982 masterpiece Beneath the Shadows, his keyboards trading leads with ace guitarist Ron Emory to transform an already great group into America's answer to early-'80s Damned. In the 2000s, Kuehn has performed similar miracles throughout T.S.O.L.'s fantastic comeback LPs: 2003's Divided We Stand and 2009's Life, Liberty & the Pursuit of Free Downloads. So how disappointing to find this new collaboration of his Grisham's so limpid. Kuehn's airy, glossy production is the principal culprit, though the soul-lite on display after an OK, regal horn opening track is too relaxed to inspire, and Grisham affects a quieted croon that disarms his strengths (unfettered attitude) in favor of a somber tone that neither suits him nor reveals a new side. While not as disappointing as the first time this pair hooked up outside of T.S.O.L. on 1984's lame Cathedral of Tears EP -- which neutered that wonderful band's terrific Shadows-esque demo -- Kuehn's first-rate playing here (the man is a wonder) has similarly gone to waste.