CD: The Charlie Watts Riots’ “A Break in the Weather”
Review by Greg Haymes
THE CHARLIE WATTS RIOTS
A Break in the Weather
11 songs; 36.5 minutes
Wings meet the New Pornographers…
Cheap Trick produced by Nick Lowe…
The Records overdosing on steroids…
Boil it all down, and it simply means that undeniable hooks are sticking out of every possible orifice of every verse-chorus-verse-chorus-bridge-chorus gem that the Charlie Watts Riots plow through on their long-awaited, 11-song sophomore album.
It’s their first disc since paring down to a power trio in 2011, but ironically the band sounds bigger than ever, a brilliant balance of power-pop meets arena-rock with smart lyrics riding on top of a bruising big beat provided by the rhythm section of bassist Mike Pauley and drummer Joe Putrock.
Recorded at Soundcheck Republic Studios in East Greenbush and produced by guitarist-vocalist Seth Powell and the rest of the band, the tunes flex plenty of muscle, whether it’s the big-boot stomp of “Caveman Town,” the buzzsaw blitz of “Omaha” or the guitar grind of “Metal.” And the album’s sonic wallop is burnished to perfection thanks to three-time Grammy Award-winning producer Nick Raskulinecz, who deftly handled the mixing chores at his Nashville studio.
Of course, it doesn’t matter how good the production values are if you don’t have good, solid songs as a foundation, and CWR certainly aren’t lacking in that department. There’s not a clunker in the bunch, from the opening volley of the stadium-worthy “Bottom” to the brash, bonus-track closer “The Band That Killed Disco,” featuring ex-CWR Brendan Pendergast on lead vocals.
One of the best of the bunch is “The More You Change,” which slides in with shimmering acoustic guitar, evolves into a George Harrison-influenced pop song and climaxes with a horn-fueled rave-up (featuring the Chronicles’ Jeff Nania and Bryan Brundage, as well as former Sharks’ trumpeter Bob Button). The boys earn major kudos for “No Idea,” too, which boasts the lyrics, “I’ll be your Captain, you can be my Tennille.”
The Charlie Watts Riots rip through a double-header on Saturday (September 21). The fab power-pop trio will be playing a free show at the Washington Avenue stage at LarkFest at 3pm, before heading over to Valentine’s Music Hall for the official CD release party for their new album, “A Break in the Weather,” starting at 6pm that same night.
AND DON’T FORGET:
GO HERE to enter to win a pair of FREE tickets to the Charlie Watts Riots’ CD release party at Valentine’s on Saturday evening…