Forever Einstein

One Thing After Another

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    9
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AllMusic Review by

There's something about the music on this CD which conjures up visions of the American heartland and simpler times -- the days and tunes of Duane Eddy ("the twang's the thang"), Santo and Johnny's "Sleepwalk," Les Paul, Chet Atkins, a touch of the Ventures and surf-rocker Dick Dale, and when guitarist C.W. Vrtacek cranks up the reverb on his vintage Fender Telecaster, perhaps a hint of Link Wray. The early Grateful Dead even emerges as a touchstone from time to time, as other trio members John Roulat (drums) and Jack Vees (bass/second guitar) slip into a funky blues shuffle beat, and Vrtacek stretches out and rides the groove like a young Jerry Garcia. Of course, the late '50s and early '60s are long gone, and I suspect that the last thing Forever Einstein wants to be known as is an oldies nostalgia band, so this collection of eleven tunes is suitably warped with lots of tongue-in-check musical subtexts and modernisms -- abrupt shifts in key and tempo, incongruous bridges and other musical gestures in all sorts of directions, plus a mildly self-conscious, cerebral quality which is played off against the downhome licks and surface simplicity. A fine line is being walked here, and a few purists may regard Forever Einstein's schtick as irreverent pastiche, but hey -- you can't really go home again, and for sophisticated listeners with any fondness for clean, clear guitar pop 1990s style, this CD will be a treat of the first order.

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