Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The Forty Fives - High Life High Volume - 2004

High Life High Volume is an early vote-getter for Best Album Title of the Year. But it's also the Forty-Fives' strongest statement yet. Like that old Mono Men stuff, or any of the trashy garage types associated with Memphis' Shangri-La Records, the Forty-Fives carry their influences in a beer cozy holster. But on cuts like "Who Do You Think You Are?," "Bad Reputation," and "Junkfood Heaven," the Atlanta quartet put enough of themselves in there to make it a whole new drink. Bryan Malone's vocals are as gritty as ever, and Trey Tidwell's keys are a constant highlight. The band gets all soulful and broken mannish with the Stones-style "Too Many Miles" (nice horn section!), and tosses out a great, loosey-goosey instrumental with the sax and keys-flavored "Backstage at Juanita's." Recording High Life with Jim Diamond in Detroit gave them access to the city's rockers, with Dirtbomb Mick Collins contributing some harmonica and Siren Deanne Iovan in a brassy duet with Malone on "Daddy Rolling Stone." "C'mon Now Love Me" is your standard bottle-shattering-against-chicken-wire rave-up, and "Bicycle Thief" is a mildly country slide guitar workout. High Life High Volume won't change the world, but it'll get you through the week til the next Saturday night. It's a well-done, sonically varied album in a genre that too often sticks to what's drunk or unimaginative. Recommended. -AMG

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Dude Behind The Record Counter said...

R.I.P Trey... Ye were a kick-ass musician and a real cool cat!

Joel said...

Thanks. I don't ever remember them sounding this loud and proud.


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