Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Cut-Rate, Dime-Store Zeppelin

I'll write it again: "Cut-Rate, Dime-Store Zeppelin". That's exactly what I thought upon listening to "Hard Times" on the Tin Pan Alley label, as sung by Mike Thomas with a trio of musicians behind him. If there's a third adjective to further modify the crumminess of this performance, it applies, too.
And I honestly do wonder if someone at TPA told the band and the singer, "Hey, go listen to this Led Zeppelin stuff - it's really popular - see if you can work up something like that".
Whether that happened or not, the results fit the description, at least to these ears, particularly after the 1:30 point. The slow, bluesy backing, the guitarist wailing his solo around those chords in a certain way, the drawling high pitched singer, the drum fills near the end. Not that I think any of this is done competently, of course. It's not. But I can't imagine that they stumbled onto this genre by accident. Even if the results are sort of a car crash.
On the flip side, we have an earnest performance - and a very typical one at that - of an equally earnest, religious lyric, in a song titled "Lord of the Sky", also by Mike Thomas. Nothing much stands out here - this could be the quintessential TPA release of this era.


Timmy said...

I don't exactly sense the Zep similarity. But I do recognize half-assedness when I hear it. And, this certainly has got it, baby! A winner. Even the "religimous" side... Lift your eyes to the lord of the sky ~ AMEN.

Stu Shea said...

Yes, I hear the Zep thing--the laid-back, bluesy feel, the note-bending lead singer, the attempt at a loose, fluid guitar solo...and as you say it's all second-rate and kinda laughable. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

It's like a parody of Zeppelin...might have even been an intentional parody! LOL

Bryan Harwell said...

Okay. I like "Hard Times." I couldn't stop laughing through the whole thing. I love unintentionally funny things and this record more than delivers. Thanks for sharing !