You’ve got to be either pretty ballsy or just plain great as a band to compare yourself to The Rolling Stones, Big Star, The Faces or current bands like Drive-By Truckers and Wilco. But that’s just what the The Cartridge Family has done with the description of the band on their homepage. The band’s new record, Shine Like a Bottle, was released yesterday and is being distributed nationally by Burnside Distribution and is for sale now on CDBaby here.
The song “American West” fulfills the promise of the description above by combining big bruising power chords with an anthemic chorus of “there’s a hole in the soul of rock `n’ roll and you know it just ain’t right”.
I can’t say yet if they live up to their idols, but I wonder once these idols are gone who is going to fill the American rock `n’ roll vacuum? Who can possibly replace the likes of Tom Petty, Bob Dylan, NRBQ, Bruce Springsteen, Levon Helm or even the gigantic, iconic artists like The Eagles or John Cougar Mellencamp? No matter how much you despise these last two, they at least spoke to the American population’s need for simple rock `n’ roll, performed with a modicum of humility, and a great deal of gung-ho American hutzpa.
While I love Wilco, I think their music is too obtuse for the general population and let’s face it groups like Drive-By Truckers, The Bottle Rockets or The Damnwells will never cross over, no matter how hard we wish they would. I don’t have an answer, do you? Maybe this idea of American rock `n’ roll is just another part of a history that is doomed not to be repeated.
The Cartridge Family give it their best though; I wish that were enough. Don’t blame the band or the music for it’s (relative) commercial failings, but instead blame the American populous grown complacent and fat on the likes of American Idol and Hannah Montana, blame the radio programmers whose hands are tied by corporate policies and blame the media who are more concerned with the dating habits/drug problems/sex appeal of modern rock stars than with the actual music they produce. Rant over. Buy the record. Make a difference.
I was always impressed with Bishop Allen’s ability to release an ep a month (btw I was also impressed with the music blogs that kept up with and updated us each and every month). Patty Hurst Shifter is not attempting anything as grandiose as an ep a month but they are in the middle of releasing a trilogy of ep’s. Their second ep release will be Coma La Grava and will be released Feb. 15. Here’s one song from it that hints at it’s possibly poppier sound.