All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. Pay $20 and we'll hide those six pesky Google ads that appear on every page, plus this box and the slideout box on the right for a full year! You'll also fund website expansion.
My first impression on an initial listen of Kicking and Screaming was: These guys have checked out an Elvis Costello album or two. The opener, "Payback", has that retributive bitterness of Costello's most biting early work. It also has the drive and energy. And when "No Action", off of the Declan-man's second album (if my memory serves me wella dicey supposition these days) shows up, the influence is confirmed.
Not to say the Acrobratics are totally beholden to late seventies punk; that they are a one trick pony. They have fashioned a sound of their own here: "Crash and Burn" is quite catchy: nice melody, crisp guitar work, hard-driving rhythmgood old Rock and Roll music, punkish in tone, with a new millennium muscle to it.
"Life of the Party" burns with youthful angst, channeled nicely into an "Allison" atmosphere, up-tempo mode. And "Understudy", could be a radio hit, if radio programmers would get their heads out...
And speaking of radio, I'd love to hear these guys take a shot at Costellos' "Radio, Radio".
A talented trio with a bright future, if they can navigate the music business mine fields. Be nice to see them work up a couple of ballads on their next CD Kicking and Screaming is definitely high octane, running the RPM needle into the red zone most of the way. And they underutilize one of their strengthsvocal harmonies. I'll be damned if I didn't hear shades of the Everly Brothers, caffeinated, with a beefed up backing, on "Wish I Never Asked".
Impressive debut. A lot of talent there; a lot of energy. A lot of good, hard driving, gutsy music.
I love jazz because anything is possible; it has few rules and the best jazz breaks those ones. I prefer free improv because it doesn't really have any rules at all.
I was first exposed to jazz in my teens (in the late sixties).
The first jazz record I bought was Filles de Kilimanjaro by Miles Davis, shortly followed by Extrapolation by John McLaughlin.
My advice to new listeners is to listen as widely as possible and not to make snap judgments--stick with it.