Speedfossil – No Anesthesia
With its swirling synth on “Luckiest Man In The World,” that recalls The Cars this Boston band Speedfossil is not exactly Americana. They do draw influences from the deep well of American music, old-fashioned 70s rock n’ roll – done well.
Cut 2 “Rag Doll,” inserts harmonica, acoustic guitar & a slower presence. At least it shows the band is diversified – effectively so. There’s some thought put into their arrangements & they play proficiently. On the next 2 tracks, their singing is more aligned with 70s pub rock. Chiming guitars, a delicious English working-class fashion that produced the likes of Brinsley Schwartz, Nick Lowe & Ian Gomm. All melodic genius’ who had wonderful melodies played vigorously & with sparkle.
Garret Vandermolen is the singer/songwriter/vocals/guitar/keyboards/bassist of this unit. I agree they come heavily with an influence from New Jersey’s The Smithereens (“Simple Simon” “Pieces of Eight”), and The Kinks (not quite as inventive as they were), but they add a solid sound to their music. “Livin’ The Dream,” has horns & a jazzy break. Sounds like a good, lost Kinks song.
Michael Scotti (bass/vocals), Dan Jordan (guitar/vocals) & Hector Saint-Hilaire (drums) also provide the ambiance that’s No Anesthesia (Drops April 8–Red On Red Records) is their 11-cut 3rd LP produced by Garrett. The horns are McCoy Vandermolen (trumpet/handclaps), Harold Stevens (sax) with Myles Vandermolen (handclaps).
Despite sounding like some elder statesmen bands they don’t come across as nostalgic but as a group continuing a viable tradition. They have a seasoned look about themselves, but they also look as if they can deliver their music double-fisted. However, “The Verge,” cops a few noticeable guitar notes from the hook melody of New York City’s The Dictators’ classic 1978 rocker “Stay With Me.” I forgive them. I would’ve copped that riff as well. Their effort on the tune smokes.
Not everything works. That’s to be expected. “The Devil You Know,” is a bit mediocre compared to the other songs. Speedfossil comes back well with “Pieces of Eight,” — a nice churning steamy rocker that ambles along with that herky-jerky changing gears feeling that we used to get on old buses. It reminds me of music written by Scott Kempner, and Eric Ambel with some melodic spice of The Smithereens’ late Pat DiNizio. Nice job.
The finale comes with “Count Me Out,” a generic rocker that follows the same recipe as 25 million other rock songs, but the horns colorize & the lead guitar solo is savoring. Can’t complain. This is all a little tastier than those old 70s Willie “Loco” Alexander & the Boom Boom Band sides from the late 70s.
Boston’s still a contender with Speedfossil.
Color photo from Bandcamp/Devious Planet. The CD is available @ Bandcamp + https://speedfossil.com/