Gasoline Lollipops- All the Misery Money Can Buy review

Gasoline Lollipops All the Misery Money Can Buy GasolineLollipops.Com

A little swamp rock, a bit retro, rock ‘n’ roll, Colorado’s Gasoline Lollipops have delivered the Americana album of early Autumn, 2020.

From the first lyrics sung by Clay Rose, on the album title track, one’s attention drawn as if magnetized. A bit Roy Orbison, more Chris Isaak, Rose is a riveting lead singer and songwriter, and he isn’t always as pretty as those comparisons suggest; he lays out sweaty, soul-fired belting in a number of places. Whether writing as a group collective, with Max Davies, on his own, or with his mother (#1 hit-maker Donna Farar, co-writer of “Last Thing I Needed First Thing This Morning,”) Rose knows his way around a scratch pad and pencil nub.

With no shortage of tempo changes, intriguing riffs and melodic passages, All the Misery Can Buy is a start-to-finish ride of master-craft. Creating songs for trying times, each song has memorable phrases and lines, including “Get Up!”—“Now I’m tired of living just to pay the rent, giving my life to the one percent.” But that is just a single example of the connection Rose makes with his audience; in similar ways, the narrator of “Dying Young” awakens nearing thirty, realizing, “Now the stars fall just like cannonballs, and the rain comes warm and calm, just like napalm, burning up the memories of everything we’ve done.”

Musically, Gasoline Lollipops remind this scribbler of latter-day Bottle Rockets, utilizing a broad cloth of Americana roots conventions and inventions to solidify a most engaging soundscape. Rose’s voice takes on a variety of personalities, all sounding genuine, their nuanced vagaries tied to the music’s instrumental fabric. The bass-drum kinship of Bradley Morse and Kevin Matthews is apparent, with Scott Coulter’s keyboards and Don Ambory’s lead guitars further cementing the groups’ dynamic.

Songs of pharmaceutical reliance, a country divided, impending doom, the rambler’s call, and the musician’s road tackle life’s ambiguities, trials, and tattered rewards, solidifying Gasoline Lollipops’ tangible connection to Missouri’s favourite twang-Festus’ers. The album concludes with a Dead-ish, organ soaked, extended jam of Nina Simone’s “Sinnerman,” a fitting coda to an album immersed in the current U.S. and global situation.

As highly recommended as any album this year, Gasoline Lollipops have a handful albums in their catalogue. While I fully intend to start downloading come next windfall, I can’t imagine they are as powerful as All the Misery Money Can Buy; I do look forward to finding out. This is a marvelous album, one that will be contending for top-spot on the Fervor Coulee Favourite Albums of 2020.

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