Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The Most Beautiful Losers: Bedroomer (Demos)

The Most Beautiful Losers.  Bedroomer (Demos)
Canton Records, 2012.  The Most Beautiful Losers:  http://www.themostbeautifullosers.com/

I’m not really sure that this classifies as one of the band’s albums, since it mostly consists of Chris Bentley, lead singer of the band, singing with acoustic guitar accompaniment (probably his own) and little evidence of his bandmates.  These are indeed properly identified as demos, having been recorded in his bedroom studio with nearly no mixing or editing.  He claims to have been somewhat inebriated during at least some of the recordings, and while it sort of shows, it hardly matters.  After all, the group has made its reputation on the basis of its appeal to beer-swilling ne’er do wells, so the resulting product is entirely appropriate.  

If we do consider this an MBL release and count their EP, then this is their eighth album (at least from Canton Records), not a bad run since 2006.  The band plays mostly a cross between punk and country, with a heavy bar band persona.  They’re a good band, especially if you tend to favor Americana.  Bentley seems to have thought of this CD as part knockoff, part test run for new songs, which may or may not show up on the next album.  If they do appear, they will sound entirely different with the full band in all their electric glory.  So maybe we should look at it as his Nebraska.  Some of the songs are worthy of recording by the band, others maybe not so much.  It’s difficult to tell how well some will translate to a full band treatment.  Here are my guesses.

The songs, for the most part, are relatively simple and straightforward, mostly about drinking, women, and being a loser.  I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised.  However, by and large, they’re a pretty decent batch of songs that just need some polish to go somewhere.  “For All of the Drunks” ought to work well as a rocker.  It has the right kind of forward motion, and a singalong quality that would make it a concert favorite.  “Another Night on the Town” is in a similar vein, and “Girlfriend from Hell” is a winner as well.  “Nasty Jassy” has a Cars quality to it, but it’s hard to tell how good it will be, since the recording quality is worse than most of the other songs.  The opener, “Out of My Mind,” makes a good ballad, but I’m not sure what they can do with it as a band.  The four songs under three minutes all seem less than finished, and need some work.  The rest have potential, with interesting and funny lyrics (“Drunk and Disorderly” has the line “we were half drunk out of our minds as we stumbled out of a strip joint on McKinley” -- Canton denizens will appreciate the reference).

While this is hardly a hidden gem, it does not claim to be.  It has its moments, and fans of the band will likely want to hear it.  It’s also cheap ($5 from Canton Records).

Personnel (as far as I can tell):  Chris Bentley, vocals, guitar.
Tracks:  Out of My Mind Again, Wagon, For All of the Drunks, Another Night on the Town, Girlfriend from Hell, A Time Machine for My Heart, Nasty Jassy, June 1990, File under Sacred Music, Drunk and Disorderly, Worth a Damn, Loser Down.

The Grand Wazoo

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