Last summer, it came to the point that all hoarders dread: the clear out.
I had to reorganise my stuff. For reasons too boring to go into, my dad had to help me.
Now, my old man – for all that he saw Led Zep in 1974 for precisely 50p – isn’t much of a music buff and when it came to sorting my box sets he said: “why don’t you do them in size order?” Moreover, he didn’t understand why I got so pissed off at such a ridiculous notion.
Which, in fairness, is why I couldn’t help but laugh out loud (lol even, as the kids say) when I happened upon “Broken Record Baby” a piece of pop genius on “Extra Credit”.
You see, Brad Marino, he’d get it. He’d probably have knocked my dad out to be fair, given that during the song he considers dumping his significant other for the way she treats his LPs: “I told her, and its final, don’t you touch my import vinyl…..” is arguably one of the great lines.
Even if – unforgivably – you are one of those people who doesn’t care about such things, then if you like your rock n roll in such a way that it sounds like Bruce Springsteen jamming some punk licks with Chuck Berry and Elvis Costello, then to be honest, step right in.
“Broken Clocks” is absolutely proud that it hasn’t heard a record since about 1960. A uniquely American sound, it conjures up images to these English ears of diners, drive-thru movies and some kind of re-enactment of Grease. The harmonies, the solo, its perfect. It’s about a break up, by the way, but hell, if break ups are this much fun then sign me up, yeah?
“No One Else Tried It” is probably even better. Dealing with the type of scrapes that rock n roll should get in, it sounds like 1970s Elton John. Basically, because Kris Rogers is delivering the keys here and between them on these 10 songs, Rogers and Marino have spun gold.
“Wake Up Baby” – which for this collection is almost prog at nearly four minutes and was written with Kurt Baker – echoes Nick Lowe and the boy McManus (not for nothing does it mention “love and tenderness” in the lyrics do you suspect). “Fit To Be Tied” honestly could have been on Springsteen’s “Tracks”, and “C’mon C’mon C’mon” with its glorious harmonies knows its way around The Ramones catalogue.
Marino has something of the Blue Collar troubadour about him, “What Comes Naturally” is country fried in the way that Jason And The Scorchers were. “From The Start” is more of a punk rush – but let’s not kid ourselves, this is not The Exploited, this is just a man who gets pop music and writes effortless hooks. “It’s Not Right” – with its acoustic tinges – merely re-enforces the point.
Some of the stories here are brilliant, never mind the songs. “Don’t Do The Crime” has a plot worthy of an HBO miniseries. It wraps it up in three and a half minutes, mind you. Moral of the story, don’t date girls who turn you into the DEA. Brad’ll explain.
“Extra Credit” ends with “Bye Bye Johnny”, now it takes some doing to make a Chuck Berry song sound more fun. Brad and Kris, though? Easy peasy!
It’s spring time (OK, I am English and we’ve had a snow shower today, but go with it) and this is the soundtrack to summer. The musical equivalent to a bag of Skittles. Just tastier, more colourful and even more of a sugar rush.