"The Sweet Life" (Sluggo's Goon Music; 2007)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

Trios featuring only keyboards, bass, and drums are not something you normally see on Rough Edge pages. But at Rough Edge we like unconventional things and Dave Corp fits in quite nicely even if the lack of guitars is outside the Rough Edge modus operandi.

Dave Corp is a wide-ranging hybrid of a band with stylistic influences drawn from all walks of jazz, rock, industrial, fusion, metal, funk, reggae, and other styles I don’t instantly recognize. As an all-instrumental effort, “The Sweet Life” allows the band more free reign to explore all these different styles independent of each other and in one big goulash of sonic stew.

In exploring jazz, I’ve had the time to listen to Martin Medeski & Wood – a similar trio of fair renown. While I won’t fool anyone into thinking that Dave Corp are anything like Martin Medeski & Wood I can say this impressive trio gave me the necessary ‘tools’ to listen to music that does not feature guitars. But it’s almost irrelevant as Dave Archer plays his keys through enough “stuff” (effects, etc.) to get guitar-like sounds.

“Moron Pills” is fraught with the sound of destruction – imagine an old Japanese monster movie with a skyscraper tall villain stomping through Tokyo. “Homeschool” is taut despite its length with a nod to dissonance giving the track some tricky tension. “Disorder” is titled appropriately enough as it is the most metal sounding track on the disc with sufficient energy to sustain three songs. The title track is more of a Steely Dan-sounding effort - cool urban jazz that knows a little rock'n'roll is good for soul. “Bad Lieutenant” features speedy riffs interspersed with pulsating bass lines and calmer melodies – kind of what The Police might sounds like after watching bad horror movies for 24 consecutive hours.  “The Grind” closes out this interesting CD with a more serene number that is entirely unique from the rest of the CD.

“The Sweet Life” is a great effort by this previously unheard of trio.

“The Sweet Life” was produced by Dave Archer and Damon Trotta (At War with Self). The clarity of the production is impressive as all elements of the keys, bass, and drums can be heard.

Dave Corp is Dave Archer on keyboards, Mr. Grin on bass, and Matt Hankle on drums and percussion.

For more information visit http://www.myspace.com/davecorp

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.


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Revised: 02 Oct 2022 15:00:08 -0400 .