12 Songs, 52 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

In the ‘80s, New York’s Del-Lords epitomized the kind of rough-hewn roots-rock that had its heyday before the early-‘90s rise of grunge. The Del-Lords included members of punk pioneers The Dictators and Joan Jett’s Blackhearts, but they tempered their garage rock tendencies with a lyrical Americana touch. Despite achieving cult-hero status, The Del-Lords broke up in 1990 after releasing their fourth album. Here, on their first album in 23 years, the spirit seems largely unchanged—though there’s perhaps just a tad more roots in the band’s roots-rock rumble. Guitarist Eric Ambel (now a successful producer) manages to lend sonic clarity and concision to the production even while getting greasy and gritty with his axe as the situation demands. Speaking of grease, frontman Scott Kempner still comes off more like a guy fixing your used car than a rock star (that’s a good thing). He's got a touch of the street poet and an abundance of visceral passion, whether he’s putting across the openhearted optimism of “Everyday” or the caustic cautionary tale “When the Drugs Kick In.”

EDITORS’ NOTES

In the ‘80s, New York’s Del-Lords epitomized the kind of rough-hewn roots-rock that had its heyday before the early-‘90s rise of grunge. The Del-Lords included members of punk pioneers The Dictators and Joan Jett’s Blackhearts, but they tempered their garage rock tendencies with a lyrical Americana touch. Despite achieving cult-hero status, The Del-Lords broke up in 1990 after releasing their fourth album. Here, on their first album in 23 years, the spirit seems largely unchanged—though there’s perhaps just a tad more roots in the band’s roots-rock rumble. Guitarist Eric Ambel (now a successful producer) manages to lend sonic clarity and concision to the production even while getting greasy and gritty with his axe as the situation demands. Speaking of grease, frontman Scott Kempner still comes off more like a guy fixing your used car than a rock star (that’s a good thing). He's got a touch of the street poet and an abundance of visceral passion, whether he’s putting across the openhearted optimism of “Everyday” or the caustic cautionary tale “When the Drugs Kick In.”

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