Felice Brothers: Undress (Yep Roc/Southbound)

 |   |  <1 min read

Socrates
Felice Brothers: Undress (Yep Roc/Southbound)

After all these decades people still cheer, perhaps more loudly these days, when Bob Dylan sings “even the president of the United States sometimes must have to stand naked” in It's Alright Ma.

The idea of the trappings stripped away – rather than literal nakedness – propels the opener/title track here where the long-running country-rockers Felice Brothers tear away at American icons (Pentagon, Lady Liberty, Wall Street, Native American tribes etc), industries and public figures in a chugging song with the drive but sadness of recent Mike Scott/Waterboys material, and with a piercing sax solo.

It sets up a collection of penetrating lyrics about contemporary America (a spoken word passage on Holy Weight Champ) in all its corruption, stench, cynicism (Special Announcement), illustrious past and beauty.

And a metaphorical Socrates drinking the poison.

It's inevitable someone as smart as writer Ian Felice would turn the microscope on his damaged republic but with the band as his vehicle the poetry becomes convincing Americana pop-rock – with Petty, Springsteen, Bob Seger and Dylan as touchstones – with a vinegary aftertaste.

“We were laughed out of Eden” indeed.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Sean Rowe: Magic (Anti)

Sean Rowe: Magic (Anti)

Because of the nature of his burred baritone -- and these profound and emotionally deep songs -- it would be wrong to say this debut by New York singer-songwriter Rowe is "exciting". That... > Read more

Bill Morris; Hinterland (billmorris.co.nz)

Bill Morris; Hinterland (billmorris.co.nz)

This beautifully played and arranged folk-cum-country rock album from the Dunedin singer-songwriter comes with a stellar cast including guitarist/mandolin player John Egenes and Red McKelvie on... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

CURATOR GAIL BUCKLAND INTERVIEWED (2012): It's not only rock'n'roll

CURATOR GAIL BUCKLAND INTERVIEWED (2012): It's not only rock'n'roll

Chrissie Hynde of the Pretenders – appropriately wiry and driven, often in black, her signature fringe below her eyebrows – once said, “presentation is half of it in... > Read more

Otis Taylor: Otis Taylor's Contra Band (Telarc)

Otis Taylor: Otis Taylor's Contra Band (Telarc)

Singer-guitarist Taylor is nominally posted here under Blues in Elsewhere, but -- as always, see previous reviews here -- he doesn't easily fit into the prescription, broad though it might be.... > Read more