Doug & the Slugs

Tales From Terminal City

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Released to almost no fanfare whatsoever in 1992, Tales From Terminal City was Doug & the Slugs' swansong. Top 40 radio had changed considerably in the four-year gap since the band's last CD, but the Slugs make no effort here to conform to perceived new musical trends -- they simply go about the business of laying down some typical bar band grooves in service of lead singer Doug Bennett's songs. Of course, this was a good idea in theory (and a refreshing change from 1988's over-produced Tomcat Prowl), but unfortunately, by 1992 Bennett's best songwriting years all seemed to be behind him. So while there's nothing on Tales From Terminal City that's less than competent, there's not a whole lot of inspiration in evidence here, either. Typical of this dichotomy is the song "Carved in Stone": While it's interesting to hear the Slugs sound uncannily like Dire Straits on this particular track, the actual song itself ends up being a really rather dull string of clich├ęs. To be fair, there are moments of life on this disc, particularly the funny "Mystery Bride" and the anthemic "Stand Up!," but overall, Tales From Terminal City is a pretty pedestrian effort from a band capable of better work. It's easy to understand why it ended up being Doug & the Slugs' terminal album.

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