Pleasure Club

"Their album sucks, but you gotta catch them in concert!" is the common defense of pet bands, and heck, I've said that about a few artists who didn't have the money or time to get things right on records. Out of all the inconsistent bands I admire, though, Pleasure Club tops that list with a monstrous live show that warps me back to my high school days when I used to rock out to Q102. The Fugitive Kind continues Pleasure Club's lousy LP trend, however, as the band's ability is buried beneath 42 minutes of cookie-cutter musicianship. The songwriting bristles with rock energy that sounds like a bomb-filled teakettle ready to burst, but this is not the Pleasure Club I've heard in concert. The destructive howl of James Hall has turned to whiny squealing, particularly in the anticlimactic close of "Streetwalkers' Anthem," and former Toadies drummer Michael Jerome exercises so little of his prowess that you might wonder whether producers replaced him with a drum machine. The boys try new tricks with flamenco-style horns and piano lines on occasion, but unless you catch this Louisiana band on tour, Fugitive's half-assed rock effort will fool you into calling Pleasure Club a bad mix of the Rolling Stones and Candlebox.


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