“West Coast Rock & Roll” by Fever Charm
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West Coast Rock & Roll
Fever Charm’s West Coast Rock & Roll is a 36-minute shot of rollercoaster rock to the system. Singer Ari Berl plays the social critic du jour, lamenting the downfall of Generation Y while his band rips through tight blasts of punk riffage. These not-yet-twentysomethings package some great moments into this album: the anthemic chorus of “Lose You Grip” is a brilliant head-banger, and the drums cascading out of nowhere on “Psycho” sweep you into the whirlwind that is Berl’s deranged reality.
Yet as an homage to their garage band heroes, West Coast doesn’t blend the group’s influences well enough. Sections of songs have an uncanny resemblance to tunes by Jack White and Cage the Elephant. The worst offender: “Show Me What You’re Made Of,” a shameless transposition of Jet’s “Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is.” It’s fun to get a picture of Fever Charm’s recent favorites, but lazy songwriting hurts the album’s earlier tracks. “I’m not a pretender,” Berl declares in “Modern World.” Whatever you say, man. This band knows how to get the adrenaline pumping on their latest release. It’s a shame that most of their tricks have already been tried. Fever Charm bring the glorious noise, but not the originality.