Olde Style


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Chicago's Olde Style delivers a serviceable batch of American trad rock on its debut for Spade Kitty. Shuffling groove seems to be the focus here, as the largely instrumental, solo-heavy title track and "O Miss Jenny" revel in that college-town funk sound that makes the granola kids down at the microbrewery dance. "All Good Things"' somewhat weak lyrical structure is saved by soulful harmonica and some subtle violin work, but "L.O." manages to dilute both the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Blues Traveler. Still, it's hard to stay mad at Olde Style. There's that Artesian spring water name, for one thing. And cuts like "30 PK 4 Free" make it clear that the band is interested more in having fun than making any kind of statement, or even concentrating very much on musicianship. In the end, Rockwell becomes a decent enough placeholder in the summertime mix CD changer, delivering some solid rhythms and squeaking by on unique instrumentation. Highlights include "Gentlemen of Obscurity," and the rootsy "Prince of Dearth"; best might be "Peta Wilson," if only for rapping about the husky-voiced star of TV's La Femme Nikita and the late-night cable fave Mercy.

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