Release Date: Sep 25, 2012
Record label: Self Released
Low Cut Connie make rock & roll in the great, skank-brained tradition of the Replacements at their most platonically who-gives-a-shit. The band's excellent second record comes off like a drunk's glove compartment of influences: Piano-slapping New Jersey kid Adam Weiner digs Jerry Lee Lewis kicks, and Birmingham, England, transplant Dan Finnemore is a British Invasion fan, but there's garage rock, doo-wop, slop-Dylan country, boogie-woogie indie rock and "Boozophilia," a big chorused, weed-puffing party anthem that sounds like Captain and Tennille's "Love Will Keep Us Together" by way of the New York Dolls. The lyrics are predictably low-brow but with plenty of loopy kink: "(No More) Wet T-Shirt Contests" is a gutbucket-Randy Newman lounge-blues tune where Weiner mentions "Send in the Clowns," exposed underwear and an impending Christian phase.
So often when rock & roll keeps it real it sounds, well, old-fashioned: playing to rules written for a different time. That's not the case with Low Cut Connie and their second album, Call Me Sylvia. Sure, there are plenty of echoes of a hedonistic past ricocheting around Call Me Sylvia -- it's easy to pick out the Stones and the Replacements, or the wild mercury sound of Dylan at his amphetamine prime -- and Low Cut Connie pledges allegiance to a boozy boogie that's been out of style since at least the Carter administration, but the remarkable thing about this cheerfully dirty quartet is that they're never living in the past, never expending energy in capturing the perfect forgotten reverb or rearranging their record collection into a meticulous collage.
It goes without saying that any rock and roll band with song titles like “(No More) Wet T-Shirt Contests,” “Scoliosis in Secaucus” and “Boozophilia” likes to play by their own rules. That goes for self-managing, self-booking and self-releasing their albums – this is their second – too. Elements of 60s pop spar with rollicking Faces-styled piano/organ and rugged hooks thick enough to hang meat from as this quartet grinds out whip smart material that never seems retro.
Low Cut Connie’s second album Call Me Sylvia could equally have come from a ‘70s bar, a ‘60s garage, or ‘50s Memphis. The group fits into all these genres, but not because they’ve got a scattershot approach. Pianist Adam Weiner could be Jerry Lee Lewis trying to liven up the Troggs, but the aesthetic is more the success of stripping down rather than a crisis of amalgamation.