The Gene Pool

Record review

Texas Platters

The Gene Pool

3rd and Main

If you were wondering when the Los Lonely Boys clones were arriving, here's exhibit numero uno. Not that there's anything wrong with that. Nevertheless, the Gene Pool's debut full-length, 3rd and Main, is a mess in so many ways it's difficult to know where to begin. On the surface, the band's sound, as well as the album mix, is so muddled and indistinct that you have to wonder if there are really six of them as pictured in the CD booklet. GP sports three guitarists, but aside from the solos, they're more often than not buried to the point of being nearly undetectable. Those guitars are handled by Gino Stroia, Jackie Hibbard, and Jorge Castillo, who are also the band's songwriters. The trio mix blues, gospel, and soul in a way that's remarkably indistinct and absent of vitality. This is especially true on downbeat tunes like the sleek, gimmicky "Drifter's Lament" and the sparse yet syrupy "Cry Blue." Their intentions may be intensity and poignancy, but the results recall the fake sincerity and unintended humor found in blues 'n' boogie bands that followed in the footsteps of Grand Funk.

*

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