Kurt Baker is in the club and kicking off in style, wrapping his lips around some Gallagher Brothershow-offs sneering Rock n Roll ‘Hittin Roc Bottom’ with a solid riff and some show off lead breaks that shimmy into an uber cool chorus thats got gang vocals to die for. Hell, by the second chorus, I’m punching the air and shaking my tambourine. For those not in the loop Kurt Baker is a prolific churner out of power-popping rock ‘n’n roll and some. His records drip with class and the melodies he crams into his songs sure beat the hell out of a bazillion bands who try to hit the mark. The fact hes on Wicked Cool means someone somewhere knows their stuff.
Baker is certainly rockin’ these songs up and making them more powerful than pop as the title track will testify as the beefy drums kick into a tried and tested riff. Man, this guy can’t sleep with the amount of stand-out melodies he takes ownership of from the ether. Another thing you’ll notice is its sunshine rock n roll, you imagine he writes and records with a beaming smile slapped across his face, ‘She Don’t Wanna Be Alone’ will testify to that. Even if he’s singing about relationships gone bad or not the best situations you imagine they’ll shake hands and just move on its what Kurt would have wanted.
The album shapes up for a cruise around the highs and lows of 80s power pop and new wave legends from the Costellos to the Cheap Tricks its all woven into the Baker DNA. ‘Anchors Up’ is punchy pop wearing a fingerless leather glove sneering into one of those slim mics with a pair of crisp hi-tops bopping up and down to the beat. But hey things get funky on ‘Love Express’ like he’s been holidaying at the club Tropicana, totally unashamedly the funky fuckers.
The 80s vibe whatever genre isn’t far away as ‘Bright Blue Sky’ with its punchy bass line struts in only being ushered out of the way for the ‘Missed Connection’ as that power gets rounded off with some shiny synth-driven pop. The ‘Good Feelings’ push the envelope with some spandex and legwarmer work sounding like a track from some weekend at Bernies teen flick for kids who should know better.
To my taste ‘Go Better’ is the territory where Baker excels turning up the amps and rockin’ like they’ve just discovered Cheap Trick and The Runaways. ‘In Love Again’ is pure 80s new wave al a Costello and his attractions. To be fair ‘Not Right’ is in the same ballpark with a killer melody and the song structure is excellent. Only leaving an acoustic stab at Britpop USA style in the shape of ‘It Was You’ Now if this was the new Goo Goo Dolls track it would sell a truckload and people would be rightly hailing the band’s resurrection from the abyss they fell into but this is Kurt Baker, a true American hero who has mastered his craft and written another top-notch record. Just buy it! It will make you smile and fill your heart with wonderful tunes – Welcome to the Rock n Roll Club.
Author: Dom Daley