Monday, April 21, 2008

Miracle Workers – Roll Out the Red Carpet

Unlike the Primary Domain CD, this release is not so much of a surprise since it was initially put out in CD form, as well as vinyl and cassette. So, the mix is the same on all of the different media.

But that certainly does not mean that this is not a fantastic CD! This is one of the highlights of this band’s career. They really learned how to use the studio and weren’t afraid to experiment and try new sounds, though it never sounds excessive, even when they bounced tracks because 24 weren’t enough for them!

Opening with the blistering “Fool”, you know that this is a high-energy r’n’r band at the top of its game! Though this is the debut of drummer Aaron Sperske, he fits in seamlessly and kicks butt throughout. The whole band was pretty much living together at this time and they really crafted some amazing tunes.

The title song follows and is slightly slower, but still a heavy number full of guitars, blues-harp and cool lyrics from singer Gerry Mohr. Rob Butler opens “Kindred Soul” with wah-wah bass (a tribute to Black Sabbath’s Geezer Butler – Rob even called himself Wheezer Butthair for his graphic art alter ego) and the band creates another mid-tempo rocker gem. Guitarist Matt Rogers shows off his penchant for memorable riffs and general terrific playing throughout.

“Rock’n’Roll Revolution in the Streets (Part 1)” is just mind-bogglingly fantastic! Driven to hyper speed by Aaron, Rogers’ throws licks around right and left while Mohr keeps a melody on top of the madness (he even sings “it takes a little madness to make me feel alive”). Matt trades solos with himself and shows why he was one of the best on the scene at the time.

On the vinyl version this ended side one, which gave you a chance to catch your breath before flipping the record. On the CD, they move on with a bonus track, “Way Back When”. Again, it’s a little slower, with a superb opening riff by Matt, and is damn near a ballad, without losing any intensity. Rob’s “Magic Slide” follows and while it is a different mix than the one that appears on the Primary Domain CD, it doesn’t seem to be drastically different.

I guess they just couldn’t come to a consensus on a name for “Untitled” but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t one of the best tunes of the record! Absolutely rockin’, tons more great guitars, cool dynamics and nice words. I do think that Gerry was one of my favorite lyricists at the time – he would really try to say something more than “my baby left me – Wah!” – and I think that we had a lot of the same influences.

The one true ballad on the record is “Pretty One”, a sweet tune of love that still has plenty of guitar and some really nice keyboard work from Gerry. The album ended with the moody “Burn Baby Burn” (no relation to any other song with the same name), a heavy tune that contains some lonely sounding harmonica, which ended the record on a bit of a downer note. But this CD (and, if my memory is correct, the cassette, as well) ends with the ever-rockin’, organ-driven “In the Air”. This upbeat head-shaker is up there with their best and it’s kinda surprising that it was left off of the album.

Sadly, not long after this record was released, the band dissolved and this was the last official release while the band existed. There was a final effort – Anatomy of a Creep – which, while not bad, does tend to sound like what it was – a contract fulfilling record.

But Roll Out the Red Carpet stands the test of time as one of the best albums of the 90’s!