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Vodka and Peroxide

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Album Review

The long-delayed third album by St. Louis' Civil Tones continues in the style of its two predecessors, adding few new twists to their signature sound. On the other hand, the phrase "If it ain't broke" comes to mind. One of those rare contemporary instrumental combos that's not primarily a surf group, the overall feel of Vodka and Peroxide is that of a mid-'60s organ jazz combo (think of Jimmy Smith's Lalo Schifrin period) leapfrogged into the post-Medeski, Martin & Wood era and then given a crash course in Mancini-style easy listening and Booker T. & the MG's' vintage Southern soul. The '70s-style fusion funk of "Wasabi" notwithstanding, the overall feel here is slightly arch without devolving into ironic kitsch, and playful without disrespecting its influences. And they're not afraid of the water, either, as shown by a witty, surf-inflected rendition of the theme to the Buffy the Vampire Slayer TV series that sounds more like a modern-day Ventures than the current cruise-ship lounge incarnation of that classic group. At nearly an hour, Vodka and Peroxide is a little long (the choogling rock of "Super Love Bomb" probably could have been omitted), but it maintains the listener's interest through the Civil Tones' gift for inventive and varied arrangements.


Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Organ-based quartet the Civil Tones make '50s and '60s-influenced groove music that borrows liberally from such iconic groups as Booker T. & the MG's, the Ventures, and others. Featuring the talents of Patti Loth (vocals), Robin Allen (guitar), Dave Hilditch (bass), John Holt (keyboard), and John Kosla (drums), the Civil Tones have released a handful of albums...
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Vodka and Peroxide, The Civil Tones
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