December 1, 2009
When I first listened to this CD it was so achingly familiar that I couldn't say exactly what band it reminded me of. I have to admit that this is my first taste of The Sorentinos, who have been around for a number of years making "Americana" music, which may be part of why I've never run across them before now. That's usually a sign that a band is a little more honky tonk than what I am looking for. My loss. Their latest album, number ten, "If Not Now When" is exactly that, an album of American influenced rock. It has more than that to offer though, including hints of sixties pop, garage rock and folk. And over all there's a nicely honed indie vibe, not surprising for a band that's been making music for nearly two decades (check out the documentary about them on Youtube). "Troublebound" could be a Mike Ness or John Doe penned piece of country punk, without the punk, but with all the melancholy and cynicism you might expect. Both "Fifty Year Old Punk" and "Change Isn't Always Good" are garage rockers that, for all their polish and softened edges, would do most aging power poppers and punk rockers proud. There's also a great instrumental, "Santo on the Beach", a twangy, slow, surf piece with exotic overtones, that is a great way to finish off a long day. Next to a bottle of scotch. The song here is probably the most power pop like of the lot, "Summertime", with a sort of Smithereens on dude ranch feel to it. The Sorentinos may not be my normal cup of ... whiskey ... but a change is good every now and then.
The Sorentinos -- Summertime