Glitter Box By The High 70s – Shepherd Express

Posted: October 7, 2021 at 3:46 pm

With one song from 1975, John Cale summed up the attitude to which the High 70s aspire: Dirty-Ass Rock 'N' Roll. Then as now, that attitude isnt the same thing as the sound of dirty-ass rock n roll, which since Cales song came out has varied from the Ramones to the White Stripes.

Glitter Boxis a debut album, but the L.A. trios members are more weathered than those previously mentioned bands were at their starts: the man calling himself Princess Frank is a multi-instrumentalist whos played with if not in David Bowies band and who still gets down with Fishbones Angelo Moore, while guitarist L J Scott met frontman Chris Williams when both worked for Oprah Winfrey.

Williams displays his vocal influences as if theyre his favorite tour t-shirt and black leather jacket: Bowie as he was transitioning from glam archness to rock artfulness, Jim Morrison in his more lucid moments, Iggy Pop in his final phase as the Stooges lightning rod, and Iggy Pop when Bowie helped him Lust for Life.

The jacket and shirt fit well enough: on the opening, title track, a snaky bassline helps Williams swagger through observations about a hot-mess scenester; on We Have Nothing, he and vaguely New Wave keyboards sink into nihilism as well as Marilyn Manson ever did; and on Secrets, back-alley chords lend him the right kind of bragging furtiveness.

Still, Williams tends to wear the attitude more than inhabit it, and with lesser songsAstro Van, a sub-Weezer tale of vehicle-as-home, or Freak House, which could pass for a dull parody of the Velvet Undergrounds Venus in Furshe cant summon strange magic nearly so often as his idols could.

Plus, the production, by Gram Rabbits Ethan Allen, never puts sufficient dirty-ass into this rock n roll. Because, again, attitude isnt the same as sound, and the High 70s dont fully capture any variation on the sound.

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Glitter Box By The High 70s - Shepherd Express

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