Jo Jo Gunne

So...Where's the Show?

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    9
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AllMusic Review by

After the erratic and self-consciously weird Jumpin' the Gunne, this album is a return to form. More than that, actually -- the replacement of founding guitarist Matt Andes with John Stahely resulted in a tighter, more focused, and generally more interesting band than ever before. Jo Jo Gunne was originally formed to be, in Jay Ferguson's phrase, "a hard-ass rock band," and on So...Where's the Show they finally were one. Ferguson responded to the harder edge by abandoning the synthesizer in favor of a jazzy piano sound, an inspired move under the circumstances. The combination enlivens even the dud songs; "I'm Your Shoe" starts as a pedestrian slow-grind, but has an incredible instrumental break in which the whole band rocks hard and fast, then drops out suddenly to let Ferguson take a wonderful and delicate piano solo. The element of surprise gets you the first time, the brilliant playing every time afterward. When the band actually takes on a song with a half-decent hook all the way through, the results are splendid. The title cut, "She Said Allright," and "Falling Angel" are all winners, and there isn't a single track that is actually a dud. If it was inevitable that Jo Jo Gunne was going to break up, at least they left one consistently good album behind.

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