The Lawsuits – Cool Cool Cool
Imagine a very large blender – got it? Ok, fill it with every musical style dating back 60 or so years, stir in the vocal stylings of The Beatles, Bob Dylan, and Norah Jones – then turn on high and let it rip. The result: The Lawsuits’ latest album, Cool Cool Cool.
Intrigued? You should be. Described as a “schizophrenic mix of modern Americana”, this Philadelphia-based quartet hits each and every note of their first full-length effort. The singular thing that impressed me the most about this incredibly varied album was that none of it felt forced or faked. Singer-songwriter-guitarist-etc Brian Dale Allen Strouse clearly has a deep appreciation for music history, intertwining genre- and decade-spanning elements and themes throughout this album.
You want some Yellow Submarine-era Beatles? Check out “Onion”. Dylan? “Dreaming #26”. Or maybe some good old-fashioned George Thorogood hard-driving guitar? Well, then you’re in luck, “25w A19 120v Blues” will fit you just right.
I could, quite literally, take you on a trip through each of the album’s 11 songs, pointing out the “Hey this sounds like…” moment, but I’ll leave the rest of the exploring to you.
I would be remiss not to mention my favorites from the album – “Long Drive Home” and “You Won’t Love Me if You Don’t” – two songs where vocalist Vanessa Winters is put front and center and her smooth, sultry voice takes you away to a place not entirely unfamiliar. Her voice reminds me of the aforementioned Jones, but more and more of the criminally unknown Lelia Broussard.
If you’ve got a 37 minute 13 second drive ahead of you, just put on this album – it’s a great mix tape all by itself.