First Appeared at The Music Box, August 2001, Volume 8, #8
Written by John Metzger
The Sadies' recent release Tremendous Efforts begins unassumingly enough with a '60s-style, country rock instrumental. In fact, there are five instrumental tracks scattered throughout the disc. However, that's not to say this is anywhere close to a throwaway album meant to bide time between inspirational bursts. Instead, it's quite the opposite. With the aptly titled Tremendous Efforts, The Sadies has put together the type of release its members have been trying to achieve since the group's debut three years ago.
During Wearin' That Loved on Look, The Sadies reaches its stride, evoking a positively searing Beatles For Sale-era John Lennon pose. And Tremendous Efforts only gets better from there. The Creepy Butler sounds like a lost track from Brian Wilson's sessions for Pet Sounds; Ridge Runner Rag and Ridge Runner Rell wouldn't sound out of place amidst Bob Dylan's country musings on Nashville Skyline, while Flash merges early Rolling Stones with Dylan's blues-oriented Highway 61 Revisited period; and on the Carole King-Gerry Goffin-penned Wasn't Born to Follow, The Sadies successfully manages to outdo the supreme rulers of psychedelic country — The Byrds.
On and on, The Sadies goes, traveling back in time and reconnecting with a bygone era — so much so that it's hard to believe the disc was recorded and released in 2001. No matter. The future of rock has always come from mining the past. Many recent efforts — such as Steve Earle's Transcendental Blues and Wilco's Summerteeth — as well as many older classics — such as Dylan's The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan and the Grateful Dead's Workingman's Dead — have successfully done just that, while still sounding fresh and vital. Though The Sadies is still not in the same league as these legends, Tremendous Efforts is still a huge leap forward as well as an extremely rewarding release.
Tremendous Efforts is available from Barnes & Noble.
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1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!
Copyright © 2001 The Music Box