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The Gasoline Age

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Reseña de álbum

Having unintentionally pulled off a "Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle" that makes the (equally accidental) Sex Pistols look like rank amateurs, Fred M. Cornog finally reappears with LP number four. A few years ago, he signed to a major label that subsequently folded. So he never recorded a note for them, but got to keep most of his generous advance. Good things sometimes happen to good people: this lightning stroke of outrageous luck meant that the reclusive but affable, well-loved solo songwriter could move his home studio out of New York to a small house in the New Jersey town of his youth. The first result is The Gasoline Age, an album that revolves around Cornog's modest but buoyant charm. Not that he's lost his throbbing melancholia or overriding sense of the shy underdog having his day. But somehow, the boy seems jazzed, more contented behind even his most pointed little barbs such as "All You Little Suckers" and "Shiny, Shiny Pimpmobile." With a little more space to set up his microphones than a tiny corner of a cramped Queens living room, Cornog's self-production seems more expansive, brighter but not glossy, warmer but no less homespun than earlier efforts such as 1994's Poor Fricky and 1996's Mel. His songs still come as aural tapestries of ringing guitar chords, mood keyboards, pitter-patter drum machine, and that reassuring, vulnerable but determined voice. They just seem to glisten more now. With so long to stockpile, Cornog is overflowing with tunes just waiting to be discovered, like chocolate bars in gold paper wrapping, or little jewels in tissue paper. The mini-Spector may never play a live gig in his life, still recovering from his post-high school alcoholism and homelessness nearly two decades ago, but you can bet that several of these compositions will again be performed by other bands on stages soon. A knack is a knack, and a Cornog tune comes complete with all the right nuances and playful touches behind his straightforward melodies. It's an LP like a little-'burb New Jersey lemonade stand in summer, friendly conversation with every cup sold. Like the old Ian Dury song, with a little well-earned good fortune, Cornog has reasons to be cheerful, and you can hear it.

Reseñas de usuarios

haunting, sad music

I was really surprised to read the above negative review of "Gasoline Age": I found the lyrics to be quite intelligent, disturbing, and their awkwardness a choice, rather than a mistake. There is a sense of humor lurking in the melancholy of this music that I found really fascinating, and the whole record really seemed, to me, a singular work of art. One of my favorites from ERP!


The hook for me was "Hell is an Open Door". Heard it on AM1190, CU Boulder's indie station. Loved the song and had to check out the rest of the album. I was (and still am) thoroughly impressed. This is one of those releases I keep coming back to whenever the right mood strikes. My favorite has to be "Atlantic City". Love it. Check it out.

Best record you never heard

I bought this album when it first came out, knowing nothing of the artist or his previous music. And I listened to it constantly. The album is so strong as a whole concept, from the mood and scenes it paints, to the fantastic evocative album artwork. The songs hold up, they've stayed with me over the years. Haunting, melancholy, darkly funny. More people should know this record.


Se formó en: 1989 en New York, NY [Queens]

Género: Alternativa

Años de actividad: '90s, '00s, '10s

East River Pipe is the guise of singer/songwriter F.M. Cornog, who began recording his melancholy one-man pop on a Tascam 388 mini-studio in his apartment in Astoria, NY. Born in Suffolk, VA, and raised in Summit, NJ, Cornog followed a difficult childhood with a series of jobs in a carpet warehouse, a greenhouse, and a light bulb factory. After a longstanding bout with alcoholism and an emotional breakdown cost him his job and left him homeless, Cornog hit rock bottom; while sleeping in a Hoboken...
Biografía completa
The Gasoline Age, East River Pipe
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