Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Nick Curran and the Lowlifes - Reform School Girl

What with all the revivalist movements that’ve happened – come now, surely there’s something new to invent! – I’d approached Nick Curran with some hesitance. He could be any scrawny white kid out of Whittier who dons a patch of chin hair and idolizes the rockabilly movement that’s become somewhat stale at this point. Maybe he is that guy. Scratch that – he's not that guy, he's from Maine. But he’s got something that a lot of rock and roll revivalists don’t have, and it’s the ability to really mimic his heroes. This isn’t said scrawny white kid doing a smooth, swingin’ cover – it’s said scrawny white kid doing a nearly flawless Gerry Roslie wail, and a cover of “Tough Lover” that’d have Etta James herself raising a thick eyebrow.

Perhaps not unexpectedly, the title track is the weakest on the record, and comes closest to the sound of that modern imitation that’s been attempted so often of late (see Jail Weddings, the Pipettes). A couple of tracks could be done without, maybe, but then, Elvis was a bit cheesy, too. Curran plays a thick guitar, thanks to a solid family background in rockabilly and rock and roll, and wails with a believable toughness. Reform School Girl, rough around the edges, sharpened with brass, could’ve been pressed on vinyl fifty years ago (Curran uses vintage recording equipment, natch), and it’d sound just as well.

Also, he has cancer of the tongue! Support that voice while he's got it.

Nick Curran - Kill My Baby
Preorder Reform School Girl

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