Solid Gold Balls – Dream Is Real

© 2014
Rating: ★★★★★★★★☆☆

solid-gold-ballsSo, of course, I’m going to mention that this band is named Solid Gold Balls. Right off the bat it garners attention. After you get past the initial thoughts of “is this going to be schlock?”, “um, ok, humor band?”, or “seriously?” and you start to listen to the tracks, you are rewarded with something perhaps better than expected.

The songs are straight forward rock and roll with musical influences ranging from Sonic Youth, Presidents of the United States of America, and maybe Beck. Lyrically the tracks are fun and generally speaking very kid/family friendly. (at least on the surface). Rhyming pony with Rice-a-Roni, for example gives you an inkling of an idea about how the other songs might go. On an amusing note, Google Play Music has every last of the 14 tracks on Dream Is Real listed as explicit. … I feel this is akin to the PMRC advisory labels of yore.

Heck, I think if this release were cleaned up a little bit, especially in regards to track 11: Favorite Things, it would be a potential candidate for Mike Park’s family/kids label Fun Fun Records.

Content, or interpretation thereof notwithstanding, Dream Is Real brings you 14 solid tracks of catchy fun poppy punk rock delivered with a solid band and song craft behind them. The only major drawback for me is that perhaps the songs are too saccharine. If you listen to hard things can come off as trite. So I suggest sitting back, relaxing a bit, and not taking things so damn seriously.

–Jerry Actually

Getting to Know Solid Gold Balls

sgb1

1. MATT
Who are you and who does what in the band?
I’m Matt Souther. I play bass and really bring the backup singing to the next level.

How would you best describe the sound?
Not really basement rock, but more garage rock, with lyrics about how the fucking kids have made a mess out of the garage.

Dream rock moment (real or not)?
My dream has always been to see the country in a van. I’ve seen the west half of it in previous bands, but still wish to see the east, and now I’m pretty keene on seeing Europe from a van too.
And I too fantasize about playing SNL. Hopefully on a night when Natalie Portman hosts.

Still got day jobs?
Sort of, I own my own business, and co-own another business with Dan the drummer, laser engraving shit.

Any regrets?
Not doing this band sooner, back in the 90’s when they were handing out record deals to anyone with a shitty guitar and a loud amp who was also head to toe in flannel.
Continue reading Getting to Know Solid Gold Balls

The Real McKenzies – Shine Not Burn

© 2010 Fat Wreck Chords

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Shine Not Burn is a new 21 track live album, available now on Fat Wreck Chords, from the Scotch-Canadian folk punkers, The Real McKenzies. It is filled with rowdy booze fueled antics and 21 tracks powered by Scotts and scotch.

If you’re not familiar with The Real McKenzies, they’ve been around for a hundred years or so. Their music is to Scotland what the Dropkick Murphys are to Ireland. Is it folk? is it punk? Mostly a lot of both as well as being a lot of fun.

I’ve never had the pleasure of seeing the lads live, but by way of this disc, I can only imagine that it is a hell of a lot of positive fun. As an example of the positivity, in contrast to Flogging Molly, The McKenzies sing about the best day until tomorrow as opposed to the worst day since yesterday. Take that for what it’s worth I suppose. I like both of the bands.

At any rate, if you’re a fan of live albums, then by all means rock this one out. If not, I encourage to opt for the more polished studio discs; either way you’d be doing ok.

–Jerry Actually