It apparently took American song-writer Paul Curreri just four days to knock-out his eighth studio album, The Big Shitty, but the outcome sounds neither rushed nor incomplete. Cleverly crafted melodies and solid song-writing are its staple features, all coated with electric guitar riffs and powerful drum patterns that anchor proceedings firmly in the rock camp.
Curreri can’t help doffing his hat to his sixties icons, the recurring riff to The South Tip recalling The Doors, while the guitar pattern for Powwow at a Lousy Party is reminiscent of Astral Weeks. Originality does raise its head with Juju, which deftly contrasts a country-styled lament with a tropicalia pop refrain, while in The Water Tower, Curreri turns on a spoken word swagger before unleashing the song’s pent up energy in a short-lived epic stomp of a chorus, the speaker claiming that: ‘the world that I’ve known is in need of being blown open.’
It’s high energy stuff throughout, as bluesy guitar inflections battle for attention amid funk grooves and seemingly spat out vocals that imbue the album with an aggressive, rebellious edge. Sure, there’s the odd cheesy drum stick count in to contend with, and even a false start on Are You there Any More? but soon enough the melodies win you over, and nowhere more so than in Who Got Gang, a juggernaut of a song wasted as the album’s closer. In sagely rationing the addictive, harmony clad chorus, Curreri avoids overkill, showing that he’s an old hand in the song-writing stakes. Then, as though winding down after exercise, we’re treated to a long instrumental outro with lap-steel, rounded off by a cacophony of toms.
Charlie Parr & Paul Curreri November 2011 Tour
11/1: LONDON, UK – Bush Hall
11/2: BRIGHTON, UK – The Haunt
11/3: WINCHESTER, UK – Berry Theatre
11/5: BRISTOL, UK – Cube Cinema
11/6: BRISTOL, UK – Cube Cinema
11/12: COVENTRY, UK – Taylor John’s House
11/13: GENT, BELGIUM – House Concert
11/23: BERLIN, GERMANY – Monarch
11/25: DORTMUND, GERMANY – Dortmund Theatre
11/26: HAMBURG, GERMANY – Kampnagel