Rosavelt

The Story of Gasoline

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Some of the press Rosavelt were getting around the time of their third album was peppered with Replacements comparisons, but The Story of Gasoline seems more linked to mainstream heartland rock than the punkier Replacements were. It's positioned somewhere between accomplished roots rock & roll and an indie rock sensibility, and thus it makes sense that it was produced by Don Dixon, whose resumé included several such fence-straddling acts. Christopher Allen's brusque, slightly hoarse vocals and the well-timed, anthemic backup harmonies are the key factors that elevate this slightly above the average for a style that had been mined pretty heavily in the two decades or so prior to this release. Fleeting intimacies, painful breakups, insecurities, psychic torment, and the emptiness of living without a relationship are themes that bounce around much of the album, and while Allen sings and writes like he means it, there's also some predictability to how these issues are addressed in song here. At least he has the gumption to use some language that doesn't beat around the bush, opening "The Last Heartache" with the declaration "a big bang, a last f*ck," and admitting in "Desperate for Cool" to being "such a fool for going down on it, such a fool for going down on you."

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