Friday, May 08, 2020

Alluring Strange - Will You Marry Me?

This is another spontaneous buy, most likely based on a description in Robert Gordon's It Came From Memphis book and the fact that former HellCats and Panther Burns Lorette Velvette plays guitar in this mostly-female combo. Recorded in 1994 (how is that 26 years ago already?!), Lorette is joined by Leah West on vox, Randy Reinke on guitar, drummer Misty White, bassist Su Ondine, percussionist Kristi White and keyboardist Katharine Rhodes. At first listen, there is a lot of different moods'n'styles goin' on here, but it all works together to make up their own rock'n'roll oeuvre.

The opening "Hard on the Inside" is pure punk-pop goodness, "He's Something" has bits ripped off from the 60's hit "Hitch Hike" and is a bit more garage-punk, "Beautiful Thing" is mid-tempo that starts off somewhat nondescript but builds into a rockin'ly catchy garage-ish number. Definitely more 60's influences in the folky/poppy "When You Were Mine" with maybe a hint of Wreckless Eric, they adopt some country/rockabilly in "Ain't Leavin' Your Love", their theme song, "Alluring Strange", is somewhat moodier with some fantastically noisy guitar work, almost in a Voidoids-kinda-way and "Walk Away" is kinduva 50's slow-dance, soulful crooner tune, complete with sexy sax and female backing/call'n'answer vocals.

A trashier, grungey, garagey side of the group comes out  in "I Need a Ride", complete with some Sonics' lifts'n'hip guitar licks followed by a slow, open-spaced ballad in "Big Black Car" and its little-girl, almost-whispered vocals, then a bouncy acoustic-pop number, "Cry To Yourself" (nice, electric rave-up guitar solo, though), creepy noises dominate the downright spooky "Torture King" and tie things up with fun, singalong, upbeat rock'n'roller, "Trashy Dog".

Memphis has had all kinds of wonderfully eclectic and rockin' groups for well over a half century and Alluring Strange is a hip addition to the city's bloodline. As best as I can tell, this was their only release and while they cover all kinds of musical ground here, it all fits together under a r'n'r roof. Super fun!