The Said So. Leggo Your Ego.
Canton Records, 2013. The Said So: http://the-said-so.com/
There’s something to be said for contemporary punk/garage music, although I’m hard pressed to figure out what it is. It’s out of date, lacking in sophistication, self-consciously low-end. Oh, and it sounds great when it’s done right, and The Said So do that. This is their second release, and a third one is due out now. I’ll have to get ahold of it.
I like this Canton band. They’re very straightforward, as such groups are supposed to be, unburdened by artifice or the need to impress with technique or virtuosity. In fact, they seem proud of it, as they sort of state in “Keeping It Canton.” I’m sure it’s a local favorite. They seem to have started off as more of a blues band, but personnel changes brought in the punk, and they’ve stuck with it. There’s quite a bit of Ramones and Social Distortion influence peeking through, although they have their own sound. These kinds of songs have been played in area bars by other bands for decades, but they make them seem fresher than most. Noisy, sweaty, and a little out of tune (apparently they don’t care to practice), they chug along with mostly mid-to-uptempo songs with occasional time changes to keep your attention.
Lead singer Ricky Mendall won’t win any vocal awards, but that’s never been a hallmark of the style anyway. Rob Allman plays a mean guitar, and sounds as if he knows more chords than he uses. He’s hiding something (maybe classical training?). I enjoy his soloing, which he does frequently throughout. Tom and Bill form a bludgeoning rhythm section, rather blocky, which works just fine.
Times on the songs are generally short, mostly in the 2:30-3:30 range, with a few shorter, and only two clocking in at four minutes. Nine songs are listed on the jewel case, but there are seventeen tracks in all, and the extras were not named when I put the CD in my laptop. Hey, Canton Records, add some metadata to your CDs! Much of the album was recorded in a few hours, at Atta Boy Studio (I assume the one in New Philadelphia, not New York).
I suspect that these guys are more fun in a bar than on a recording, so go see them live. But here it is. If you like the style, The Said So will not disappoint. This is great music for cruising down the road, but if you’re under 25, don’t be surprised if it doesn’t annoy your parents. They might even steal your CD.
Personnel: Ricky Mendall (vocals), Rob Allman (guitar), Tom Amatangelo (bass), Bill Locke (drums).
Tracks: Penny Dreadful, Maleficent, Set it on Fire, Keeping it Canton, Rock n Roll Queen, Song 13, Hotshot, Steve, Violet Drizzle, 8 untitled tracks.