Cadillac Tramps

(c)1999 – BYO Records

I’ve got to admit, I’ve been planning to crucify the next review to come my way. After all, a critics job is to criticize, right? So along comes this CD from the Cadillac Tramps. “Cadillac Tramps Live”, no less! I’m thinking, “A live album is the kiss of death for any no-name band frum Kaliforney”, it’s on now! We’ll start with the album art… OK, so it’s got a pretty cool painting on the cover. Sort of a Grateful Dead thing going on here. Kudos to the hippy artist. You know what I really hate? It’s a band that needs to prop up it’s lack of talent with flashy cover art! (Quick peek at the back…) “Song titles, hmm…” Here, i always look for the “recurrent theme” syndrome (Sadly, these guys can’t seem to focus on anything). Open the case and your eyes are immediately assaulted by a collection of bad tattoo cliche’s. Cheeky! I wouldn’t put any of these on my dog. Oh, sure. I’d tattoo a couple of them on my cat. But that would mostly be an excuse to shave him. I like to actually read the credits, particuliarly the people who get the back pats. The CT’s lose points with me here. They thank “Shannon”, the name of this bitch who dumped me (“Shannon, you harpy from hell, can’t you just let me get on with my life?!). Alright, enough already. Let’s just throw in this CD and get it all over with. Ah, ha! These guys are so obviously fibbing about this being a live album: It’s way too tight to be recorded outside of a studio! And that singer! He’s very reminescent of Jello Biafra. Too bad for you, my friend. Those are awfully big shoes to be sounding like. The first few songs were pretty good, but then the rest of the album just sort of continues on like that. As much as I regret, I wouldn’t exactly describe the lyrics as overly insipid and, if you listen, you can actually understand most of what’s being sung (What is up with that?!). Overall, I’d say that this CD was tight, well-written, and an impressive display of the Cadillac Tramps talents, if you like that sort of thing. Maybe with practice, these guys will get their act together, I don’t know. My advice would be for them to get out of town more. Regular and frequent touring up and down the west coast (Portland and Seattle, in particuliarly) would be a good start on their road to recovery.

–Butch Wakt