First Appeared in The Music Box, February 2006, Volume 13, #2
Written by John Metzger
There’s nothing particularly special about G-13’s songs, and for the most part, its latest effort Still Dancin’ wanders around the same Americana-infused space that Ekoostik Hookah has been mining for years. Even worse, throughout the endeavor, the ensemble’s vocalists can’t seem to muster any semblance of charisma. Nevertheless, tucked inside nearly every track is at least one gleaming moment of cohesion that succeeds in redeeming the more pedestrian aspects of its material. There’s little doubt that the ringers that G-13 hired to bring its studio debut to fruition — Ratdog’s Jeff Chimenti and Mark Karan as well as David Nelson Band-turned-Phil Lesh associate Barry Sless — helped not only to salvage the lesser tunes but also to push the better ones into the stratosphere. Yet, there’s something to be said for the notion that the group admirably stands its ground as it explores the heady, Grateful Dead-inflected swirl of tunes like Stars and Stay Green. There’s little doubt that the band currently is too busy emulating its heroes to matter, but unlike many of its peers, G-13 has a desire to comprehend fully the building blocks that have made its influences’ music endure. With time, perseverance, and, perhaps, a little luck, it will learn to reassemble them in order to forge its own unique identity.
1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!
Copyright © 2006 The Music Box