Tag Archives: Alex Chilton

292. Even – “Less is More”

Despite my lukewarm affections for the band, I also own Even’s debut long-player on vinyl.

Giving it a rare pair of spinnings this afternoon, I stand (well, sit) pretty impressed.

Perhaps it’s the crackly, earthy sound of the platter and stylus, or just my relaxed post-work, beer-sipping demeanour, but I find this earlier work considerably more vibrant and energetic.

It sounds less like a tribute and more like a band with their own ideas.  It’s somewhat janglier and less consciously British.  Perhaps it’s because I’ve been listening to a bit of Big Star today (in honour of Alex Chilton’s passing), but I hear that same joyous love of the guitar power-pop artform.

Ash Naylor’s vocals and guitar work hook up well with Matt Cotter’s and Wally Meanie’s rhythm work.

This serves as a worthy companion piece to other Aussie retrograders like The Stems, You Am I, Icecream Hands, and even the Hoodoo Gurus.

This set would get my attention if they played it next time I stumble across them on a Fitzroy stage.

File under: I might scream for More

Vale Alex Chilton

It is with sadness that I find myself stepping away from the review process to acknowledge the passing of a subject of three reviews on here: Mr Alex Chilton of Big Star fame.

It is a loss to the music world. Here are the reviews: Review 1 Review 2 Review 3 and some clips:

170. Alex Chilton – “A Man Called Destruction”

It is rather curious that in searching for an image of this album’s cover on-line that all the options showed Mr.Chilton photographed in colour.  The Australian version is a black and white pic… and that seems so much more appropriate given the highly retro content therein.

Album Cover Alex Chilton  A Man Called DestructionYou may recall my earlier reviews of one of Chilton’s bands – Big Star.  He is an icon (for some) of the power pop world, and had a young start as a white R&B star. 

He has written some classic tunes over his career.  Which makes this album even more bizarre.  Much of it sees him covering reasonably obscure old-school R&B tracks, and all in the incarnation of very standard bar band.

It seems below Chilton to be mucking around like this.  More importantly, it just isn’t that interesting a listen.  The tunes are very, very standard fare.  He clearly had a bit of fun playing with the cheesy What’s your Sign? but that ain’t enough.

The album is also poorly balanced, with three concluding Chilton-penned tunes that simply don’t gel with rest of the material. They are much closer to the Big Star sound… and better for it.

File under: Insufficiently distracting