Ro Sham Bo
First Appeared in The Music Box, Sept/Oct 1994, Volume 1, #4
Written by John Metzger
The Grays' features Buddy Judge, Dan McCarroll along with ex-Jellyfish members Jason Falkner and Jon Brion, and Very Best Years, the first single from the group's debut Ro Sham Bo, already has become quite the radio hit. Anyone who loves The Beatles and XTC can't help but find this album more than just a little bit enjoyable.
The Same Thing comes across as a John Lennon tune with bits of Paul McCartney thrown in for good measure. Friends of Mine is the exact opposite. It's truly amazing that 30 years after The Beatles hit the American music scene, it continues to heavily influence it.
The Grays certainly don't stop at just mimicking The Beatles and XTC. For example, the band adds a little Zooropa-style U2 to the mix to produce the psychedelic Everybody's World. Fans of Squeeze also may find this enjoyable although the Grays take things much further than Squeeze ever dared to.
Not Long For This World and All You Wanted take all of these groups, mix them up, and add a little Elvis Costello for a pair of songs that work quite well! Sandwiched between these is the mellowest track on the album (Spooky), which begins with a sound very similar to The Beatles' Because.
Songwriting credits are fairly evenly distributed among 3/4 of the band members. Should this continue, it might help the group to avoid some of the arguments and pitfalls that The Beatles and XTC have faced over the years. ½
1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!
Copyright © 1994 The Music Box