Bitter Lemons – Straight Laced
Genre: Surf Rock, Garage Rock
Sex, love and violence are not easily captured in modern music. These themes are ones that don’t lend themselves well to the extremely aggressive or overproduced sounds that are common nowadays. It’s a real shame, too, because, without those things, there ain’t much use trying to play rock n’ roll.
Modern times may be nice and shiny. The future may hold promises of incredible things. But, when it comes to music, the glory days are in the past. Anyone hoping to capture some of the mojo, the magic and mischief that made rock music a global concern, needs to gaze back at what happened to find out what will be.
Bitter Lemons’ “Straight Laced” is a low-key garage-rock number with plenty of horsepower under the hood. There’s no need to use all of that tremendous strength. Hinting at it can be much more exciting, just as a whispered suggestion is stronger than a direct statement. Bitter Lemons are a retro act, nowadays, one of the few hopes for the future.
Griffin Benton – With Extra Tongue
Genre: Alternative Rock
Would-be rockstars are a bit like kids who dress up in their parents’ overcoats and pretend to be spies. They don’t just hope that they’ll one day be dropped in the middle of action. They warm themselves up to trouble, pretending what they hope will happen and, in the process, learning their tolerance to danger.
Rockstars hope they’ll meet some danger along the way. Once they do, their job is to find the right sounds to capture the sense of excitement the thrill of the unknown. The ones who aren’t lucky to come face to face with such things are forced to manufacture a story. Luckily, distorted guitars have always been a great vehicle for telling this particular tale.
Griffin Benton’s “With Extra Tongue” excellently mimics the desert-rock obsessions of some of the premier guitar bands of recent years. But the song also manages to be a much more convincing, to-the-point and enjoyable single than what bands like Arctic Monkeys have recently produced. Built on top of layered, mysterious riffs and featuring the kind of confident vocals that seem to belong to a great salesman, Griffin Benton has manufactured a sweetly grimy sound.