Ken Layne and The Corvids - Fought Down (2004) - Good Good Good Good Good - What happens when a super talented singer-songwriter finally gets a group together to make the record we've been harraunging him to make for over 10 years? I don't either. But I do know that in this case it's dream come true: Ken Layne and The Corvids' "Fought Down," a stellar collection of bar-room American rock that drips with atmosphere and lodges it's words and melodies deep into your consciousness. Because the record was recorded over only three days it sounds very cohesive, a real record with a SOUND in all caps. The genius is in the amazing variety of textures and moods the band conjures up while keeping that coherence. Ken is a great baritone singer with lot's of emotion and his lyrics are evocative and fit perfectly with the moods created by the band for each song. Matt Welch's strong acoustic guitar strumming and harmonies are always there when needed, always propelling, pushing, moving forward. Axel S's lead and rhythm guitars range from clean to filthy like a mad cow. Coulter's drumming defines virtuoso, as usual. Solomon's bass holds it all together like a rock-and-roll suture mending the puss-spewing wound called corporate craprock. So far it's the kind of record where each time you hear it you pick a new favorite song. "I Should Be That Guy" spins a classic tale of jealousy over music with a driving urgency which matches it's theme. "Glitter On" makes you want to do just that. "Worried" is an homage to the Stones which embraces it's influence and makes friends, letting it buy it a drink or five. "Fought Down" is strong rock and roll at it's beefiest. The guitar solo on the honky-tonker "Here's to You" sounds like the shattered glass set into concrete on the top of a cinder block wall in order to keep the criminals from breaking into the auto body shop and being attacked by the slobbering Doberman who lies in wait (full disclosure: I played this solo.) "Ain't it Pretty" drowns us in swirling tremolo guitars as it hauntingly celebrates the merits of country living. So go, now, and order this record. If you need more convincing, check out the many other glowing reviews linked here. Then keep an eye out for Corvid's shows coming soon to a drinking establishment near you. On a scale of good to great, this record is totally awesome!
posted by Greg 8:57 PM
Cheaper by the Dozen (2004) - Eh - We went to the drive-in again to see this and Stuck on You. This movie had some laughs but I think there were too many characters so that it was difficult to respond emotionally to their stories. Plus it felt unbelievable when it wasn't supposed to.
Stuck on You (2004) - Wha? - Wow. This was one of the strangest movies I've ever seen. It was awful and shocking, but just warm and unpredictable enough that we didn't leave. A romantic comedy about conjoined twins? With Meryl Streep and Cher in supporting actress roles? It was repulsive, but we did talk about it all the way home, which I guess counts for something. I'm still not sure what I think of it, and that's why I've invented a new rating for it: Wha?
Lord of the Rings - Return of the King (2004) - Good - I was looking forward to this movie but found myself emotionally un-involved. Perhaps it was the 3 hour plus running time, but I just couldn't wait for it to end. Great production design, but it just didn't move me like the other two did.
American Wedding (2003) - Eh - This movie has a few good laughs but it doesn't hold together well. None of the characters or situations are very believable, and it feels like they were just thrown together to cash in on the franchise.
posted by Greg 11:31 AM