"Alive & Amplified" (Columbia; 2004)

Reviewed by Jeff Rogers

The Mooney Suzuki have probably been surfed more now than ever since the Suzuki commercial song gave everyone "surf" fever trying to find the song that blasted for about fifteen seconds while two hotties headed out for a day trip. I'll admit I tried to find the song, too. It's called "Alive & Amplified." Advertisers have been trying to find a way to market artists for a long time; with a name like The Mooney Suzuki, who else would Suzuki choose?

This album is considered old time rock'n'roll. It's got that 70s feel but before you dismiss this listing from Rough Edge, listen to a few of the tracks and tell me if the guitar is not ripping. You might say they sound a little like Jet, but I think Mooney has a bit more slap than Jet does. The brooding keyboards are here, as are the soul searing background vocals and sexual overtones of songs like "Shake That Bush Again." But I have to go back to the guitar: Graham Tyler can flat bust some strings.

I spun this guitar-laden beast a couple of times and I rewound the solos more than I should have but it all fits together so well. The songwriting is all about getting the fuzz out of the guitar and letting the drums pound, too. The vocals are just right for singing along with. This is an overall well-crafted release.

The best songs on this disc are "Primitive Condition," "Alive & Amplified," and "Messin' In The Dressing Room."

The Mooney Suzuki is: Sammy James Junior - lead vocals; Graham Tyler - lead guitar; Augie Wilson - drum kit; Michael Miles - bass.

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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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Copyright 2006 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 06 Jul 2018 02:07:12 -0400.