Dan Sartain - Lives

2010-06-22 13:54

Listen to Dan Sartain's Lives at your peril. It is impossible to do so without wondering what you did with your bowling shirt and your Marlboros. Damn, looks like you're gonna have to bum one off your best friend Steve Buscemi, as soon as he gets off the phone with Michael Madsen. Also, you’re going to have to buy a 1962 Lincoln Continental.

Lives is rooted in early 60s retro – specifically rockabilly and early First Wave sounds, which by themselves were heavily rock n' roll tinged anyway. It seems to stand as a genre-piece with a credibility not ascribed to the more underground artists in this genre... of which there are many.

Sartain himself has a rep for being a bit purist in his approaches, especially when it comes to gear and recording techniques. So it's no surprise that fans of the more underground rockabilly retrofetish bands will eat this up, but only if they've matured enough to ask for a bit of reservation in their blend of super-caffeinated billyrock .

Various points on Lives are vivid sound swatches of familiar rock n' roll touch points: think an all-stars album consisting of Jack White, Dick Dale, the rhythm section out of Calexico, Nick Cave on helium, and the Cramps on valium. Sure there's less punkish attitude than most of those artists (who could honestly have more attitude than Lux Interior?), and yet somehow there's enough musical zip to buy into the big picture, because as a whole the album brings forth authentic nostalgic viscera – much like Mad Men the TV show does.

And you won't even have to play it just on lonely, drug-fuelled hookers and blow nights. The tunes are breezy, plump and agreeable enough to drop anywhere, including your extended family’s annual get together. Actually, that's the one trait I’m not sure is a plus.

Picture yourself as Don Draper in the TV series Mad Men... and you're having a drunken, drug-fuelled bender, racked with guilt for cheating on your wife, yet not at all remorseful about the hooker rubbing up against you right now. It's not that you’re a bad man, just not a particularly good one. This is your soundtrack.
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