Saturday, July 2, 2016

Brownsville Station - 1975 - Motor City Connection

Brownsville Station
Motor City Connection

01. Automatic Heartbreak 3:00
02. One That Got Away 5:30
03. Self Abuse 2:53
04. Crazy Legs 3:19
05. Give It To Get It 3:27
06. Combination Boogie 2:25
07. Load Of Love 4:51
08. You Know Better 3:26
09. They Call Me Rock 'N' Roll 9:23
   a. They Call Me Rock 'N' Roll, Part 1 1:41
   b. God Bless Rock 'N' Roll 2:45
   c. Can't Wait For Friday Night 2:15
   d. Welcome 1:33
   e. They Call Me Rock 'N' Roll, Part II 1:09

Bass, Guitar, Vocals, Keyboards – Michael "Sam" Lutz
Drums, Percussion – Henry "H-Bomb" Weck
Guitar, Vocals, Harmonica, Lap Steel Guitar – Cub Koda

If Yeah! and School Punks were nonstop parties, Brownsville Station's fifth album, Motor City Connection, is the hangover, the one where the group reckons with the aftermath of having a good time all of the time. Most of the original numbers are racked in guilt, heartbreak, and self-recrimination, tales of broken hearts and loneliness, highlighted by the moody and driving opener, "Automatic Heartbreak," the bitter yet swaggering "Self Abuse," and the proto-power ballad "You Know Better." In between these moments of introspection are a couple of good covers -- J.B. Hutto's "Combination Boogie" and the Little Walter instrumental "Crazy Legs" -- and the album ends with the suite "They Call Me Rock 'n' Roll," a nine-minute epic that is the closest old-time rock & roll ever came to art rock. Cub Koda is now firmly the band's frontman -- Michael Lutz only sings a segment of "They Call Me Rock 'n' Roll" -- and the group is more musically ambitious here, trying a little bit of everything. Not only is there the aforementioned suite, but there's a variety of guitar sounds; it's not all pedal-to-the-metal distortion. There are some synthesizers in the mix and the entire sound has been streamlined, so it's sleek and hard-hitting, bringing them away from their patented boogie rock and closer to the mid-'70s mainstream. While the bandmembers were most at home tearing it up -- as evidenced by the hardest-rocking numbers here -- they still sounded good with a little more polish, and that variety makes Motor City Connection one of Brownsville Station's more intriguing albums, even if it's not among their most consistent.

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