Friday, May 30, 2008

Aerosmith by Aerosmith

Showing off the two guitar attack right outta the gate, Aerosmith’s debut record then has Steve Tyler announcing “good evening people, welcome to the show” and one of rock’s legends is born! The band is still feeling its way around in the studio and all of the sounds and vocals aren’t quite there yet, but this is a very cool r’n’r record.

“Make It’ moves into “Somebody”, a heavier boogie feel, like a more macho Marc Bolan with a head-shakin’ beat. While not one of their more well known numbers, this always stuck with me – so much so that my high school band covered it.

While tremendously overplayed these days, I still think that “Dream On” is a damn good tune, with nice guitar and keyboard interplay. Joe Perry now says that he doesn’t like what he played on this and thought of it as a bit of a throw-away, but I can’t imagine what else he would have put in that would have worked better.

“One Way Street” feels to me a bit like Aerosmith’s version of their heroes’ “Midnight Rambler”, though it doesn’t sound anything like it. But it is a bit of an extended exploration of a 3 or 4 chord bluesy riff, with plenty of harmonica. Not quite as dramatic as the Stones, but a good, groovin’ tune.

According to an Aerosmith biography (Walk This Way) that I read, Steve thought that “Mama Kin” was going to be the song that propelled him to stardom. While it is a fine rocker, it really isn’t one of their highlights. “Write Me” is in a similar vein and is another uptempo bopper.

“Movin’ Out” is a bit more crafted and builds from a sparse, bluesy guitar intro to a fist-pumpin’ rocker, a nice solo, a slower, spacey mid-section then some power chords revert it to the intense groove. Nice vocal interplay with the band, too. Good stuff!

The band shows off some more originality while highlighting their love of the blues with their version of “Walkin’ the Dog”. This is turned into a 70’s riff-rocker with cool, scratchin’ guitars and a slightly odd bridge before blasting back into the last verse.

Overall, not their best, but a fine debut and a slice of pure 70’s guitar rock!