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Wednesday, March 4, 2015

EIEIO - That Love Thang

Album: That Love Thang
Year: 1988
Style: Pub Rock, Pop, Alt-Country
Similar Bands: Squeeze, Fabulous Thunderbirds, Meat Puppets, BoDeans, REM, Bluebells, Talk Talk, Aztec Camera, Monkees
"One Word" Review: Honky Tonk Bar Pop
Based Out Of: Wisconsin
Label: Frontier
 That Love Thang - Cover & Record
That Love Thang - Back & Record
That Love Thang (1988)
  1. Hey Cecilie 3:36
  2. Words Falling Down 3:25
  3. Crack Crack Crack 3:27
  4. Ya Ya Love 4:01
  5. Andy Warhol's Dead But I'm Not 3:37 /
  6. That Love Thang 3:10
  7. Saw of Light 3:38
  8. Where You Go 3:35
  9. Gonna Get Gone 1:50
  10. Across The Tracks 3:38
  11. Brother Michael 3:52
Album Rating (1-10): 8.5

Members & Other Bands:
Scott Gorsuch - Drums, Vox, Percussion (David Stocker, Insanity, The You, War on the Saints)
Rob Harding - Guitar & Vox (Off Broadway)
Steve Summers - Vox, Rhythm & Acoustic Guitar (Pretty Boy Floyd, Tomas Ramirez, Sprung Monkey, Shameless) 
Richard Szeluga - Bass, Vox, Guitar, Poetry
Phil Bonnano - Producer, Engineer, Mixing
Mark Volfe - 2nd Engineer
Todd Culross - 2nd Engineer
Dave Kent - 2nd Engineer
Bob Ludwig - Mastering
John Libowski - Cover Art
Mark Palmer - Back Cover Photos
Bill Olson - Guitar, Guitars, Cigar Selection
Brad Wood - Tenor Sax (Liz Phair, Shrimp Boat, Tortoise, Sea & Cake, King Kong, Hub Moore, Stereolab, Ben Lee, Royal Trux, Whale, Smashing Pumpkins, Diane Izzo, Verbow, Pete Yorn, Ben Lee, Edison Glass, Dar Williams, Margaret Cho, Lisa Loeb)
Julie Wood - Baritone Sax (Victor De Lorenzo, Paul Cebar, Steve Gold, Mrs. Fun, Jennifer Day, The Webb Brotheres, Lesser Birds of Paradise, Michelle Wright, Bob Stroger, 
Brian Wis - Trumpet
J.P.R. - Trombone & Horn Arrangement (Commander Tom, WA St Original Artists, Robinson Boyz, Do or Die, Al Kapone, Da Braddah, Play N Skillz, UGQ, Don Wuan Esq) 
Bruce Breckenfeld - Hammond Organ (Gambler, KMFDN, EnuffZ'Nuff, Satya Graha, Deluxury, Agent Zero, 

Unknown-ness: I've never heard of this band, but right off the bat, they will most likely be a silly band, taking the nursery rhyme inspired name, and their song Andy Warhol's Dead, But I'm Not cannot be all that serious. The artwork makes me think of British-pop-Dance music, like Soup Dragons or Jesus Jones, even if this is just a little bit older, so we'll see if it is moody college radio (from the photos on the back) or fun dancey beats.

Album Review: This band was right behind the BoDeans as Alt-Country bands coming out of Wisconsin, but received less praise. Their style on the second album was more spanning of different genres, but still maintains Jayhawks, Meat Puppets and other American Alt-Rock band comparisons. They put out a third album in 2007, and from the looks of their FB page, they’re still active.

“Hey Cecilie” begins with a flurry of guitar, before settling into a jazzy, horns fueled pub rock song. The lead vocals are a little nasally, and the rest of the band backs up with more hey-hey’s. It is a little twangy, alt-countryish, but it is a rocking fun song. The secondary chorus acts like a tolerable line dance, in its reprise and new melody.
“Words Falling Down” begins jangely, with a secondary upbeat melody. The vocals are not as adventurous, and are actually a bit monotone, reminding me of REM, especially in how the vocals are layered to give an echoing, slightly-psych tone.
“Crack Crack Crack” has a down and dirty guitar intro, and the vocals start out bold and a bit like Glenn Tilbrook of Squeeze and are companied by accenting horns. This again takes the label of Countryish Pub Rock.
“Ya Ya Love” is a slower, side to side country beat shuffle. But the Talk Talk / Aztec Camera Vocals still persist.
“Andy Warhol's Dead But I'm Not” gets right into the groove with power-pop guitar chorus to create a solid late-period Squeeze feel. Even the smooth chorus, with a group effort in support crafts a simple and punchy track. This fully fleshed out song continues the bass and rhythm guitar melody throughout the whole song, save the chorus, but even supports the formulaic guitar solo. I just wish the chorus, the catchiest part of the song would continue a little longer in its melody. Still, a solid song.

“That Love Thang” embraces the rockabilly swagger with some wah-wah guitar hooks and washing brass sections. This again has a sort of line dance feel, but in a natural, fun way, and enough guitar edge to not need a cowboy hat and flannel to enjoy.
“Sea of Light” enters with a drum beat, and a nice mellow vocal melody. It is a bit soulful, and a bit oldies-pop. Once it hits the chorus, you can clearly hear the old garage bands of the 60’s influence. The verse chorus progression is simple, catchy and cleanly done. It is a good example of what jangle pop owes to garage rock. It adds the prerequisite guitar solo after 2 run throughs of verse-chorus.
“Where You Go” starts with an off note sounding guitar loop. It is a slow stomp, and a bit psychedelic (with echoing melody and minor chords) when it hits the chorus. This song also pays homage to the pop sound of the 60’s, with a little updated production of the late 80’s.
“Gonna Get Gone” brings back the country guitar, and is a fast driving (thanks to the drum beat) song, reminding me a little of the Monkee’s “Goin’ Down,” which makes sense alliteration-wise.
“Across The Tracks” changes the pace completely, starting itself off with a dreamy, windswept intro. The jangely guitar and drum beat push the song forward, but it has a plains, rolling hillside feel. The song is a little out of place, with its grand presentation, lacking the pub, oldie, and country feels.
“Brother Michael” feels gloomy at the front, with some deep strings. It lightens up, as a memory to the brother, and the strings grow uplifting and the vocals are sentimental, and solemn. This orchestral song also does not fit on the album, but rather than Across the Tracks, this adds to their character as a band, showcasing their highpoints such as melody building and vocal clarity in a new setting that does not sound dated or obsolete. It is pretty and shows just what they are capable of. It is a shame the band did not gain the popularity they could have had coming their way. I would have been interested to see their career had they gained some better breaks. This album had all the makings of a treasure hunt, where their gifts were buried just below the surface, and would have become enhanced with subsequent albums or projects.

Stand Out Track: Sea of Light


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