Wednesday, August 18, 2010

That Was A Long Time Ago, Dearie

This is a regular feature where I present a review or article I wrote in the near or distant past. It takes its name from a line in a sketch Dave Drazin once wrote for the Famous In The Future comedy group. This time, it’s a review of Illuminated, the debut CD from Boston band The 360’s. This review ran in the Illinois Entertainer back in 1991. The 360’s released a few more very good CDs after this, and I once had the pleasure of doing a phone interview with lead vocalist-guitarist Audrey Clark prior to them coming to Chicago for a gig at The Metro. Unfortunately, this powerful and interesting group never caught on, and has long since broken up.

The 360’s, a new band from Boston, pack so much raw energy and street attitude into “Deadpan Superstar,” the first track on their debut, you just know the next nine cuts are going to be something special. Illuminated delivers on that promise, thanks mainly to the androgynous vocals of Audrey Clark, who at times could pass easily for Let’s Active’s Mitch Easter of Game Theory’s Scott Miller. She fronts a band that shifts gears from catchy pop to punk to lush psychedelia, with guitarist Eric Russell frequently adding a hard rock edge.

Clark evokes Chrissie Hynde on the more frantic tracks like “Death Defies Me” and “Put That Behind Me.” She softens her approach on the dreamy acid pop of the title track and “Garden Of Departure,”and even sounds vulnerable on the romantic ballad, “Saved.” “It,” which borrows heavily from The Beatles’ “Rain,” and “What We Are” give Clark a chance to work in a more traditional pop setting.


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