The Born Again Floozies, Street Music (Triple R Records, 2008)

At about this time last year, I reviewed 7 Deadly Sinners, the debut CD from the eccentric Indianapolis group The Born Again Floozies. With a rhythm section consisting of tap dancers and a tuba, and Joey Welch's uniquely offbeat style of songwriting, I wasn't certain if they could achieve more than novelty status. However, with their strong follow-up album Street Music (13 Rebellions and a Song of Consolation), the band demonstrates enough substance and depth to indicate that they have plenty of staying power.

The basic framework of the band hasn't changed any. Welch still fronts the band and plays his guitar with same percussive style that characterized the last album. The current line-up sports a new tuba player and only one tap dancer, but the changes don't result in a noticeable difference in the style. What has changed is that Welch is quite a bit more pissed off this time around. He has a big time axe to grind, and his lyrics and playing have gotten considerably edgier. On the opening song "We Got The Power (Love Letter from America)," for example, he sings "We got the guns to manufacture truth; we got the shot to quell our own youth." Indeed, the whole album is series of songs of defiance against the attempts of the powers that be to corporatize and homogenize everything and everyone.

You could cram as much quirkiness as possible onto one album, but you would still need some good songs to make it work. Happily, Joey Welch delivers the goods, to a such degree that he's vaulted himself into the highest tier of songwriters in today's music scene. The lyrics hit their mark repeatedly. The band makes the music work as well, whether they aim for funk ("Dumb It Down Now!"), a subtly insistent groove ("Beulah, You Rock"), or swing ("Dirt Cheap Suit").

Street Music contains 44 minutes of defiance, irreverence, and most importantly, fun. Hopefully The Born Again Floozies will keep flying their freak flag high for some time to come.

Overall grade: A

reviewed by Scott

"Beulah, You Rock"

No comments: