Monday, June 9, 2014

The Charlestons – ? LP (CD)

First off, this disc was the one which the EP took its content from, so it would be much more informative if one would find a copy of my review of turn it up till your mommys screamin’ and your sisters dancin’ EP. Specifically, there are six songs that will be focused on in this review : “The Jerk”, “Don’t Like You”, “Voodoo Me”, “Michelle”, “Catch My Drift”, and “Duane Eddy is the best rock-and-roll guitarist of all time” .



The Charlestons – ? LP (CD)

Full album stream:

1. Kelly

2. Two Drink Girl

3. Grudged

“The Jerk”, “Don’t Like You”, “Voodoo Me”, “Michelle”, “Catch My Drift”, and “Duane Eddy is the best rock-and-roll guitarist of all time”

The full-length CD (at 26 minutes) continues the bouncy flow of the EP, but fleshes out some of the guitar lines and illuminates still other influences that may not have been that prevalent during the EP. Beginning “The Jerk”  with a very Knack-like guitar line, and continues the track with multi-layered vocals a la “2 Drink Girl” . Moving away from straightforward punk during “The Jerk” The Charlestons strive to make their listeners know that they are not a one-trick pony. To assuage the fears of anyone who might think that The Charlestons are losing their edge, the track that immediately follows “The Jerk” is an all-out frontal assault a la Dead Kennedys that decides correctly to use Evan’s smooth-sounding vocals instead of trying to flog a dead horse in singing like Jello Biafra.

The LP really gives an individual the best chance to hear some of The Charlestons’ hits as they were originally intended to sound, and for the vast majority, the studio versions are solid tracks that don’t have any gaffes. However, even the high amount of energy found on this disc is not enough to compare to The Charlestons’ live set. Compare specifically the studio and live versions of “Michelle” one of The Charlestons’ hits. On the LP, “Michelle” is the boppy-punk song that it was intended to be, but in the context of a live set everything seems sped-up, led to the unstoppable climax of the song. Ending the disc on the same catchy punk that it began with, “Catch My Drift”  rivals “Kelly’s A Little Different”  and “2 Drink Girl”  for tightness of melody and brilliant.

What could honestly be better for the secret track on this disc besides Evan dubbing over his own track? The innocuous thread that runs through this disc may seem to some silly, but it actually captures more of the spirit of punk than most of the acts currently playing music. While the EP was short and to the point, the LP has more experimentation and more of the same that makes The Charlestons so much fun to rock out to.

Rating: 8.8/10

The Charlestons – ? LP / 9 Tracks / 2003 Self-Released / / / Reviewed 14 August 2003 / Released September 2003