Music / Album Reviews

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Some Other Sucker's Parade

Del Amitri (A&M)

"Listen, Mother, it's another good band. You'll really like them. They sound like the Byrds, no, more like Elvis Costel lo, no ... no ... more like Steppenwolf ... no, they really sound like Cream."

It's true. Del Amitri is good. So why hasn't it made it BIG, even after several albums, a couple of hits, and a decent amount of radio play?

It may be simply that Del Amitri's songs don't all sound the same.

Line up a cross-section of some of the more popular bands: Collective Soul, Blues Traveler, Dave Matthews Band, Hootie and the Blowfish, Nine Inch Nails, Marilyn Manson, Counting Crows. Personal taste aside, each proffers a certain sound or feel, be it the empty-headed melodies of Hootie or the hilarious devilish hokum of Marilyn Manson.

Del Amitri's new record is pure pop, with a welcome range of tunes from the Byrds-like opening cut, "Not Where It's At" to balladry worthy of Rod Stewart/Faces on the title cut, "Some Other Sucker's Parade."

Justin Currie, the band's chief songwriter and bassist, and Iain Harvie, the guitarist, are both from Scotland. And Currie in part credits the band's eclecticism to his and Harvie's fascination with a romantic ideal of American music. The tunes range wildly from the pop of "Won't Make It Better," to the boogie of "Fun ny Way to Win" to the country-tinged "Lucky Guy." Currie's forte is his ability to write about the down side of life with humor and candor, a la Nick Lowe or even Elvis Costello.

"Some Other Sucker's Par a de" is certainly not a great album. It's true, you can pick out the cliched lyrics and second-hand riffs, but Del Amitri is a likable band. Be satisfied with good chops and a fine sense of when a song should be just a song.

-- Andrew BeDell

Hear it at 7047

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