Tuesday, January 01, 2019

REVIEW: Wes Hollywood, dynamite and the Lipstick EP

T he first music that I’m listening to in 2019 is the latest album from Wes Hollywood, dynamite (ironic that he titles it using the deliberately understated e e cummings style of lower-case letters where a capital letter would be used; as Di says, the album is DYNAMITE!!), and the 4-

song EP Lipstick, both released in the back-half of 2018. Wes and I hung out a lot back in the ‘90s; to this day, he’s a great like-minded guy with excellent taste in music, a killer record collection, and a wonderful sense of humor. Razor & Die have been playing his great new album almost weekly, and it’s been knocking me out with how great it is. In this transitional post-physical-media sometimes-digital-only music landscape that we find ourselves in, it’s both easier (if you are willing to buy only the digital version) and harder (if you NEED to have a certain album on a certain format, like CD or LP) to procure an artist’s new album. This long preamble is my lead-in to say I was gonna buy Wes’s new album, and was looking into how to do that, when Wes (the saint that he is) gifted me with a copy of his new LP and the new EP. And ladies and gentlemen, I must confess that Di Kulka was right when she told me that Wes’s new releases are AWESOME!! KILLER!! His music is so tuneful that you can’t swing a cat without whacking into a really affecting melody with insightful lyrics. Vocally, he reminds me of Frankie Safes O'Malley and the late Tommy Keene (two of my favorite singers). Musically I guess you can call it power-pop, but if that genre rubs you the wrong way (too limiting, too twee, whatever), then I recant it and say it’s just tuneful rock music made by a guy who loves music for people who love music and who love when music makes them happy, helps them take a load off. Wes and his band make awesome, accomplished music that reminds me of Marshall Crenshaw, Tommy Keene, Buddy Holly, but doesn’t flat-out steal from them. Really, I can say with full confidence that there is absolutely no downside if you were to buy the new Wes Hollywood album *and* EP for the brand new year. And tell him Tommy Durkin sent ya!! 😉



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