The Austin Chronicle

Record Reviews

Reviewed by Ken Lieck, October 1, 1999, Music

Lance Keltner

Empty V (Phoenix)

More than 15 years ago, the attempt to make some sort of joke out of linking the names Ty Gavin, Gavin Lance, and Lance Keltner was a running gag in the local music community. No one ever really succeeded, but that should give you an idea of how long Keltner has been tooling around the local scene plying his wares. Given this, one might expect Empty V to be some tired last gasp from a fellow who's been floating around Austin too long, but that's fortunately not the case. The title itself is a loogie on the cheek of a big-time music industry that's lost track of its rock & roll roots (which, of course, it never really had), a big, bombastic blast of rock falling into that formerly undiscovered niche between Guns 'n' Roses and the Fabulous Thunderbirds. Nothing new here -- by definition, that's not what Keltner is looking for -- but what's on this disc glorifies all that's good and bad about rock, especially the loud, bluesy Texas kind. Keltner maintains a strong, growly, arena-suited voice that, coupled with the energetic work of him and his bandmates Cole Hanson and Jimmy Hill, barrels along nicely via the larger-than-life production of Rolling Stones knobman Andy Johns. If you like big guitar rock of the type you could swear used to be on the radio, you'll probably be happy turning the knob to Empty V.


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