Have we suddenly enough a candidate for this year's plate? And before March is over? And from a totally unknown newcomer? Straight from the sidelines? Without a record deal?
It may seem that way ...
Drunk On Crutches are mainly Jennifer (Jen) and Andrew Wittenberg Alkel. Jen moved to Los Angeles to work as an engineer in a recording studio, and there was already working Alkel. In between working with other artists (Foo Fighters, Queens Of The Stone Age, Weezer, Jack Johnson), they have created their own plate, with help from a variety of guests, including Curt Bisquera (Whiskeytown, Tom Petty,) and Rami Jaffee ( Wallflowers, Foo Fighters).
Jen Wittenberg is the lead singer and writes almost all the songs. Andrew Alkel delivers the intense guitar riffs and the almost perverse great guitar sound. He also helped with songwriting on two of the songs.
The rasping guitar sound that runs throughout the record supplemented by Jen Wittenberg voice and presence.
It is reminiscent of old demos of Lone Justice, before being polished by record companies - and perhaps a bit like Sheryl Crow, only with much better songs. In my opinion sing Jen also much much better than Miss Crow, so the comparison is perhaps unfair to her part.
If there is a bit of justice in the world then these giant.
The title of the album is pretty indicative of how Jen writes. She writes about people. She writes about places. She writes about things. Considerations about their own and others' lives.
"Tupelo" kicks off the fun, and the rapid gitarintroen which eventually overrun by excellent vocals says:
"They say the streets of Tupelo always seem so empty"
The next song, "Using Me Up" is one of the best songs I've heard in a long long long time.
This is really juicy guitar rock, and scorching good text.
"Everyone is telling me
two pack it up and leave,
they say the city is overusing me,
it's overusing me up. "
"Waitin 'On You" has a guitar hook that simply pry into the cortex and lies nestled there - so everything else is a bit boring in comparison.
In "One Night Stand" describes both Jen background, action and aftermath of a Typical One Night Stand, where everyone and anyone who has had any such can relate to.
"This one nigt stand is full of promises I do not plan to keep,
for more than just one night. "
The stunning ballad "Oh Well" is replaced by the song Apt.16, like most rock bands in this genre would bled to have written myself. Lovely guitar and amazing vocals.
"The radio never plays,
The songs that make you feel like,
everything will be okay "
Caroline (Go Back To Bed) is probably a highlight, before kicking off Neil Young's "LA," the only cover song on the album. It breaks a bit with the rest of the sound, but still fits in because of the text and identity band to Los Angeles. And why write a new song about LA when the best is already made? They can simultaneously feat of making the song his own, it's probably much because of the vowel to Jen. She has the ability to put its weight behind the vocals, and do it all to her.
Back in rockeøset we get "Drink Up Buttercup" and "We Like It". And is there a better way to say it than that?
"WE LIKE IT!
We like it!
WE LIKE IT JUST LIKE THIS! "
When årsoppsummeringen for 2010 will be implemented I will be incredibly surprised if not this album ends up high on the list. This is just so cool!
Plata buying the home page of Drunk on Crutches. And you do it NOW!
Listen to "Using Me Up»