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Only Rock and Roll Can Save Us Now

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Album Review

In keeping with the album title and garishly retro cover art, the debut of Shreveport's Tyler Read (a band, not a dude named Tyler) has an overtly '70s vibe. Not the '70s as they really were so much as the '70s in the mind of people whose primary historical texts are old episodes of That '70s Show and VH1's I Love the '70s. In other words, these songs are a poppy mishmash of old-school influences ranging from Queen's theatrical pomp to Thin Lizzy's street-kid boogie, threaded awkwardly into songs that at their root are pretty much just basic mainstream alt-rock circa 2007. The big opening riff of the title track may bring Boston to mind, but the song itself is basically a second-rate Foo Fighters cop. The better songs on Only Rock & Roll Can Save Us Now rise above the dual derivativeness at the album's heart: "Intentions" has a truly great fist-pumping chorus, and first single "Michael Jackson" features the all-important killer riff. Also, singer Josh Johnson's Everydude voice is well-suited for this brand of unpretentious rock & roll fun. Nothing special, then, but it's entertaining enough.


Formed: Shreveport, LA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s

Metal-edged indie rock quintet Tyler Read formed in Shreveport, LA, in 2003, out of the merging of two defunct local bands. Singer Josh Johnson and his brother, drummer Jordan Johnson, formed the band along with lead guitarist Chris McPeters, rhythm guitarist and keyboardist Brent Skinner, and bassist Chris Rimmer, taking cues not only from their alt-rock contemporaries but also from vintage classic rock acts like Queen and the Rolling Stones. Heavy regional touring led to major-label interest by...
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Only Rock and Roll Can Save Us Now, Tyler Read
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