The Neal Pollack Invasion
Never Mind the Pollacks (The Telegraph Company)
Reviewed by Jerry Renshaw, Fri., Nov. 21, 2003
The Neal Pollack InvasionNever Mind the Pollacks (The Telegraph Company) Should writers rock? Should rockers write? Never mind the second question ... As for the first, there are the Rock Bottom Remainders, the all-star garage band that features Dave Barry, Amy Tan, Stephen King, and a few other renowned writers not taking themselves very seriously. Then along comes Neal Pollack, backed by Jim Roll, Dakota Smith, and a few others. You know what you're in for on the very first song as Pollack yowls, "New York City/Andy Warhol/CBGBs/Barbara Walters is a pile of shit" on "New York City." Musically, it's not bad, the band borrowing liberally from throughout recent rock & roll history, except for an incredibly overbearing snare sound. The title song, for instance, is revved-up punk rock with Pollack doing his best John Lydon. There's the "You Really Got Me" riff on "I'm a Seeker" and 49 seconds worth of Minutemen-style noodling to accompany Pollack's ranting ruminations on "Racism Number 5." "Jenny in the Car, 1972" is his Springsteen number, and "I Wanna Go to Coney Island" is "Blitzkrieg Bop." Not surprisingly, Pollack, a well-known pundit/author who recently moved to Austin, supplies plenty of spleen and vitriol throughout the effort ("I Wipe My Ass on Your Novel"), but musically, it's an ear-spanking for the listener. Yowch.