Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Music Reviews: Kurt Baker - "Rockin' For A Living"

It doesn't take long to hear Kurt Baker's musical influences in his music. A cup of early Elvis Costello, a tablespoon of Nick Lowe mixed in with a dash of The Knack and a sprinkle of Off Broadway, and voila, you have Kurt's amazingly fun new record Rockin' For A Living.

Mr. Baker may be a young man, but his musical tastes are exceptional. This album could have come out in 1981 and been a major hit! But at the same time, it has a state of the art sound that makes it a modern day classic. Even as the days grow shorter and the nights longer and colder, you can put this on the old turntable or CD player and feel the hot sun beating down on you. It's catchy, well written and played. And a blast to rock out to.

Fans will remember Kurt from his previous band, The Leftovers, who played a more pop/punk style of music. But with the bands demise a couple years ago Kurt has found his niche in the music world. Playing sunny post punk/new wave infused music for a new generation. He's got this style of writing and playing down, and he's not gonna let it slip through his fingers.

The album, out on Oglio and on vinyl through Stardumb Records, kicks of with "Just Forget About It", a great tune about a girl who's "on the prowl", and playing head games with her boyfriend. Sure, it's heartbreaking subject matter. But with music so happy go lucky, complete with boogie woogie piano and guitar chugging straight out of a Chuck Berry songbook, you can't help but just brush her off and just forget about it! AWESOME!

"Don't Steal My Heart" could have been on Elvis Costello's My Aim Is True snuggled somewhere between "Welcome To The Working Week" and "Less Than Zero". A wonderfully catchy song that will have you singing along by the end of the song. 

My favorite track on the album is "Why You Gotta Lie". But it's hard to find a single stand out track to sum up how much fun this album is. For such a young guy, Kurt Baker sure knows how to write great pop music in it's truest form. This guy's got a bright future ahead of him if he keeps this up.

Along with our hero, the band is unbelievable. You have Kris "Fingers" Rogers on piano and Hammond B3, Josh Malia, Michael "Miek" Rodrigue
and Geoff Useless on guitar, Wyatt Funderburk on bass and Craig Sala on drums, along with some special help from Chicago's own Mike Byrne playing guitar on "Just Forget About It", "Kiss Me" and "The Problem". Top notch musicians all the way around. With a band like this, you CAN'T go wrong!

The album closer, "The Problem", is the most punk inspired track on the album. It's faster than the other tracks complete with a all killer no filler guitar solo by Mr. Byrne and even has an ALWAYS welcomed Hammond solo as well. Sure, an organ solo isn't very punk...but punk was always about being true to yourself. So THAT makes it punk rock in my book. My only complaint, and it's a minor one, is that the album clocks in at around the 17 minute mark. It's so good you want more, NOW! But I think that if Kurt keeps putting out quality music like this, it just may be worth waiting for.

Track listing:

1 - Just Forget About It
2 - Don't Steal My Heart Away
3 - Can't Have Her Back
4 - Kiss Me
5 - Why You Gotta Lie
6 - The Problem

4 ½ / 5 stars

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.