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Honey and Salt

Dead Rock West

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Album Review

For their debut, Dead Rock West follow a fairly well-trodden path. Indeed, at times you think they'd love to be X (they even cover their "Burning House of Love"). There's a quality that runs between punk and country, without really being alt-country; their rock roots are too strong for that. But several tracks veer towards country, from the opener, "Highway One" to "Boredom." The thing is, while they're very competent and the production is crisp, there's very little to make them stand out from the crowd. The songs are adequate, but more by the numbers than startling (lyrics are often weak), and the performances are predictable, rather than inspiring. It's a fair start (there's absolutely nothing embarrassing here), but they'll need to come up with a lot more to make it out of the morass.

Biography

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s

Led by vocalist Cindy Wasserman and singer and guitarist Frank Lee Drennen, Dead Rock West specializes in a kind of jangly west coast alt country that shades into pop and punk territory at times, a bit like a clever cross between the Gram Parsons version of the Byrds and L.A.'s X. Formed in 2002, the band, which also includes multi-instrumentalist Phil Parlapiano (mandolin, organ), drummer Bryan Head, and bassist David J. Carpenter, has a long pedigree drawn from the Southern California rock and...
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Honey and Salt, Dead Rock West
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