Comprehensive overview of New Jersey’s band decades-long razzle-dazzle with their heroes in tow.
When it comes to rockin’ abandon, Michael Rescigno, or Raz, doesn’t care about time, letting a song run its natural course. Perhaps, that’s why there’s no dates attached to this collection but one may suggest another explanation: though the 19 pieces span the period from 1984 to 2015, you never can tell the year of a particular cut, as the continuity of the group’s output is quite impressive.
Bookended by studio and live versions of “The Boy” that’s high on a youthful defiance, the songs bubble with life and artfully restrained raucousness, be it early tracks or ones off the group’s latest album like “$1.50 For Your Love” while the bleary-eyed “Searching Forever” adds a hint of sweet sadness to the overall joy. Sax blaring on many a catchy number, “Time Marches On” – the only reference to the days of yore on offer – is also shot through with a bass solo as if to underline the level of musicianship involved in cooking such confectionery. CCR’s Stu Cook and Carla Olson lend a hand here, the latter a featured singer on the ’60s-indebted “Sitting On My Bed,” and BADFINGER’s Joey Molland, an official band member, weaves a tasty slide guitar into orchestral fabric of “I Said To My Self: Self,” yet for the sake of rock-related mythology, the twangy, synth-smoothed “Merlyn” builds its own sensation on the apocalyptic dance.
So if heavy riffs of “Down At The Gulf” relay the belligerent rage of a Strummer stripe, the explosive “Buck it” is full of a different kind of thunder. And there’s no better illustration to Raz’s statement that the title values of “Cars And Girls” – plus rock ‘n’ roll – make him feel like he’ll never get old, than his music. It’s that invigorating.