Friday, September 23, 2011

My Amazon Reviews: Peter Case "Wig!"

Diggin' What He's Putting Down
4 Out Of 5 Stars

Peter Case recovers from a serious illness and surgery, and gets out the guitars for therapy. "Wig!" - eleven songs recorded in barely a week to a two inch analog tape machine plus another song done in one take from a few years back - is a ragged, raw, blues-based rock album that sweats. In the early days of The Plimsouls, Case exhibited ab affinity for blues in his power-pop, and in the years since going solo, has delved deeper and deeper with each release. "Wig!" is that sort of convincingly gritty rock that his fans have been waiting for, with legendary X drummer Dj Bonebrake pounding the drums and guitarist Ron Franklin giving heat to the backing.

"Life is long and the road gets mean/but the old blue car is more than just a machine" Case howls on "New Old Blue Car" (which he originally recorded for his 1986 solo debut as "Old Blue Car"), which could be a metaphor for Case's recovery. Case is, as usual, on point with the new songs and their lyrics. His medical emergency was both physically and financially draining; like so many musicians, Case had no medical insurance. he came out of this grateful for the support of his friends (who put on benefits to cover the expenses) and with an understanding of how fragile the safety net can be. The songs "House Rent Jump" and "Ain't Got No Dough" are racing with energy, while the lyrically obtuse "Somebody Told The Truth" ponders what would happen if everyone woke up and realized just how stacked everything is against them.

Feisty or moaning (the piano based "My Kind of Trouble"), Peter Case is back in his zone. No polish was required to get the feelings out on "Wig!" I'd recommend this for fans of T-Bone Burnett and Steve Earle.

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