Permanent Green Light

Permanent Green Light

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After the tremendously disappointing final Three O'Clock album (1998's Vermillion) and Michael Quercio's non-starting involvement in the final days of Game Theory, 1992's Permanent Green Light was a chance for all of Quercio's longtime fans to exhale in relief. As soon as the CD player's laser hits the ripping opener, "We Could Just Die" (Quercio's best song since 1985's "Her Head's Revolving" and among his very best songs ever), it's clear from the glam rock guitar riff and cascading chorus harmonies that the pint-size Davy Jones lookalike has returned with all his faculties intact. Indeed, all of Quercio's contributions to the album are first-rate, with the nearly funky "The Truth This Time" another particular highlight. Unfortunately, he's only one of two singer/songwriters in Permanent Green Light, and guitarist Matt Devine isn't his equal on either side of that hyphen. His songs are less memorably catchy, and his voice doesn't have anywhere near the character of Quercio's. The silly closer, "Chris Drops In," featuring overlaid spoken-word vocals in the manner of the Godz (who recorded the song "Permanent Green Light") is only cute, but the rest of the album is genuinely impressive.

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