14 infectious, foot-tapping songs to make you smile!
If you haven't treated yourself to something good in a long while, now is your chance to pick up "As If", the latest solo effort by former Fitsners bassist Tom Hedrick. This compilation of 14 brilliant songs will keep your foot tapping and a smile on your face.
The cd opens with the infectious rhythms and harmonies of "Rock 'N Roll Kids", an obviously autobiographical tune. With the unforgettable line, "If you tell me how it feels when you're all mixed up/I'll tell you something you don't know", Hedrick nails teenage angst right on the head.
The title track, "As If", is a witty song with a spooky keyboard intro. Quickly, the tone changes with the introduction of Herb Alpert style arrangements, and for the astute listeners, a clever lead-in to the third track, "Little Saturn". This Beach Boys inspired tune actually makes a Saturn seem appealing.
"Clyde the Grocery Man" features Zappa-esque intervals, which provide an interesting contrast to the rest of the song. The echoing chimes add an inventive touch. The Schoolhouse Rock, rockabilly "James K. Polk" is a winner hands down. Even 7 year olds can shout along to the chorus, and groove to the Clarence "Big Man" Clemons sax solos.
"Clyde" gracefully morphs into the very silly "Immortalized in Cake", with its tribute to dead historical figures such as Leif Ericson and Pocahontas (a la mode). The Moxy Fruvous harmonica overlay is just delightful.
Hedrick's ode to his trusty old van, "Dr. Leaky", is a "Rocky Raccoon" style song complete with the sound of the van collapsing. "The Panic Song" is guaranteed to get you out of your seat with its get up and dance feel. It's kind of like a Ramones song, but with a little more polish. It's classic rock and roll, complete with hand claps and a Beatle-y ending.
"Confused" is a clever ditty, reminiscent of the Smithereens. "Jen My Name is Ken" is a whimsical tribute to true love, and the frustration inherent within it. "My Hand has a Mind of its Own" is a giggly tribute to independently operating body parts, and has proven to be a winner with the early teen set. The country/western inspired, gospel influenced "Handy Street" is enough to make you shout "Hallelujah!"
Finally, "Radio Knobs" is a hypnotic tune, paralleling the hypnotic, routine life of a radio knob salesman. The cd finishes strong, with the rocking "I Lost it All".
With this independent label release, Hedrick will hopefully get the airplay he needs to break into the big time. In the meantime, go out and buy the cd. Your ears will thank you!