Thursday, May 21, 2009 | midnight
It’s always nice when artists try new things. In the case of Jack E. Johnson and Grant Turner’s Dude City, however, experimentation sometimes leads them astray.
- Dude City: Dude City
- Beyond the Weekly
- Dude City MySpace
On their self-titled debut album, these dudes straddle the line between simple and complex songwriting, taking the traditional blues-rock aesthetic (heavy electric riffs, tunes about death and Texas, etc.) and—with the help of Johnson’s modern wail—putting it through a blender. Most tracks have several different chapters or speeds, from the lyrically mysterious “574” to borderline epic “The River,” which features a churning guitar reminiscent of The Gossip’s Brace Paine.
Simple is best, though. After being put through the paces of songs like “Death Sentence” and “Temporary Fix”—both noodling on longer than necessary—one longs for the conventional.