Tuesday, December 23, 2008
The Plimsouls - One Night In America - 1988
On more than one occasion, Peter Case has said rather pointedly that he never considered either the Nerves or the Plimsouls to be power pop bands -- as far as Case was concerned, he was playing pure and simple rock & roll, and one spin of One Night in America proves the man's point better than words ever could. No one seems to know how, when, or where One Night in America was recorded (Case guesses it was somewhere in Cleveland in his liner notes, and the set list suggests it was sometime after the release of Everywhere at Once), but the tape speaks for itself as far as the Plimsouls' strengths are concerned. One Night in America is the sound of a rough and rowdy rock & roll band conversant in blues, the British Invasion, and straight-ahead barroom boogie, and on this night they were firing on all cylinders, and if the recording quality is a bit shaky in spots, these 12 songs demonstrate a power and streetwise swagger the Plimsouls didn't always achieve in the studio. Eddie Muñoz and Peter Case's guitars cut like switchblades, David Pahoa and Lou Ramirez are a rhythm section with a swing like Joe Louis, and Case sings like a man possessed, making everything from "A Million Miles Away" to "Dizzy Miss Lizzy" sound like it could hold the keys to the universe. As good as the Plimsouls' original two studio albums were (and they were very good indeed), One Night in America truly captures the band in its element, rockin' out on the stage of a club somewhere, and if you subscribe to Keith Richards' theory that on any given night nearly any band could be the greatest rock & roll band on Earth with the right mixture of passion, sweat, and inspiration, chances are on the nameless and dateless night when these tapes rolled, the Plimsouls held the title for 40 glorious minutes. Dig it. -AMG
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Posted by Curty Ray