Pleasure Club

SXSW Records

Phases and Stages

Pleasure Club

Here Comes the Trick In 1996, Geffen signed James Hall but didn't know what to do with him. They had a bombshell in this New Orleans dandy, but stuck him in the dud pile with the AAA farts. Major label marketing at its most clueless. Against the odds, Hall has reassembled the faithful and released his own damned album as the Pleasure Club. Exploding with opener "Permanent Solution," Hall stakes his claim as the great white hope of modern rock music, slapping the defibrillators on Mick and Keef, and scraping the moss off rock & roll's most visceral elements: whole measures of down-stroked power chords, ominous basslines, and blood-curlding sympathy for the devil. And baby, he can dance. In rump shaker, "Daze in Daze Out," Hall's sexy, disaffected drawl and guitarist Marc Hunter's agit-Verlaine out-Lennys Mr. Kravitz and makes tacos out of the Chile Peppers, throwing in nods to Knitting Factory skronk-masters to boot. Hunter's real Television comes out in the mercurial "Good Time Girl," tinkling the fret board like it's ivory. When things slow down on the last three tracks, Hall quells his exorcistic yowl and dons his prettiest Sunday-go-to-meetin', like Smokey, Al, or Marvin. Christ, haven't we suffered enough false rock messiahs? It's time for legions to render unto James Hall and the Pleasure Club. They survived the hand-rinsing of major label neglect and are giving us one more chance to be saved. The rock has been rolled away, finally. (Steamboat, Saturday, March 15, 11pm)

****

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