Title - 'Dance Scandal At The Gymnasium!'
Artist - The Claudettes
Piano, snarling bass and sultry vocals have a blues-punk brawl at the studio of Black Keys producer Mark Neill.
On their head-spinning new album Dance Scandal At The Gymnasium!, The Claudettes summon early blues, '60s pop-soul and Cramps-like psychobilly as they introduce the line up that's been touring for two years: piano, drums, ''Bass VI'' guitar and three singers.
Revved-up raves 'Influential Farmers' and 'Taco Night Material' and garage-soul stompers 'Don't Stay with Me' and 'Give It All Up for Good' sit alongside transfixing ballads 'Pull Closer to Me' and 'Death and Traffic.'
Look behind the eclectic tracks, though, and you'll find a common thread: a search for humanity behind the vitriol and cracked communication of the Internet Age. And need anything more be said about the timely prescience of 'Naked on the Internet'.
'Don't Stay with Me'
'Give It All Up for Good'
'Naked on the Internet'
'Pull Closer to Me'
'Dance Scandal at the Gymnasium'
'Bill Played Saxophone'
'Death and Traffic'
'Taco Night Material'
12. 'Utterly Absurd'
The band recorded at Soil of the South for 10 days, tapping Neill's vast knowledge and collection of vintage equipment. Neill, who shuns building tracks in Pro Tools, had the band play again and again until the take arrived. Marxophones, mellotrons, fuzz pedals and percussion helped finalize Neill's sonic visions.
Opening track 'Don't Stay with Me' is, as mentioned, is a swarmy soul stomper to its core, and is backed by both the swirling 'November' and the upbeat, perky 'Give It All Up for Good'. The rapid fire 'Naked on the Internet' is easily one of my personal favorites and is followed by the subtle ballad 'Pull Closer to Me' and then along comes another dynamite track in the form of the title track.
'Bill Played Saxophone' is then backed by the speeding train vibe of both 'Influential Farmers' and 'Death and Traffic' along next. The album then comes to an all-to-soon close with 'Total Misfit', the fun 'Taco Night Material', and then rounds out with 'Utterly Absurd'.
This is The Claudettes' first album with seductive singer Berit Ulseth. "She went to the New School in NY for jazz vocals, but she's got a tone you can't learn," says Claudettes pianist/songwriter Johnny Iguana (who toured with Junior Wells, Otis Rush and punk-organ band oh my god). "Sometimes she reminds me of 'I Feel the Earth Move' Carole King, and she's got this Patsy Cline lushness to her voice."
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