Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Clumsy - Center Of Attention Deficit Disorder - 2001


Clumsy can rock with the best of them. Singer/songwriter/guitar player Marc Solomon (ex-Perfect) can croon or scream with equal plumb. The first three songs -- "Keep in Mind," "Calling You Up," and "I've Gone Wrong" -- are three of the best "should've been a single" songs in a while; all three are up-tempo rockers that will floor you. "Tell Me" is perfect mix-tape material, a slower number addressed to a girl who's just left the narrator. "Sick of It All" is at once a reminiscence on the past ("Now we're closing up the shop so mom and pop can watch the mauling/malling of America"), an expression of frustration ("I'm just so sick of it all"), and a brilliant rallying cry for people growing older ("We've given up the drugs and alcohol for tissues and Tylenol"). And while "Prayer" reminds one of a rowdy Replacements tune and "2 Tone" sounds like Social Distortion, there really isn't a wholly derivative nor a wholly bad song on the album.
This is the kind of rock record that college radio DJs and some commercial alternative DJs would have drooled over in 1994. And while the riffs and melodies are certainly drool-worthy, the college radio charts are largely devoid of this type of Replacements/pre-ballad Goo Goo Dolls-esque college rock and this would never make it on those new music shows at commercial stations without upsetting the suits (or the band turning into Matchbox Twenty). That's too bad, because this is one of the best albums of 2001 and one of the best straight-up rock records in a long time. -AMG

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