Review by CADE
Here's my track-by-track breakdown of the new Crown Vic double album "She's Got Demons".
1. "The Great Dismal Swamp" ~ Energetic , self depreciating, catchy as hell. This opening track sounds like a much more uniform and tightly synched up Crown Vic, a feeling that carries on throughout both discs.
2. "Solve Your Little Problem" ~ Our first glimpse that maybe this album is going to explore a few darker corners, but again a constant groove and chorus makes this sucker a foot tapper whether you want it to tap or not...you're defenseless
3. "Shine" ~ A new, more congealed, take on a previously recorded track
4. "Do Yourself a Favor" ~ She gave him a chance but...well...at the very least the end result is one of the most personal intimate songs we're privileged to here "What doesn't kill you doesn't always make you stronger" indeed
5. "Redemption" ~ Like Shine, this is a much more polished and "produced" (is that a word?) version of a track that's been kicking around the Fritz Beer universe for many moons. One of my all time favorites full of equal parts sass, bitterness, anger, and straight up balls. It's a highlight here for sure.
6. "She's Got Demons" ~ Finally some harmonica! Beer's mouth harp can be just as effective as lyrics and this song is a perfect example of that
7. "Wish" ~ As well executed of an album as this is, here's an example of an existing track that I actually prefer the bare bones demo-like quality found on an earlier bootleg. Sometimes more resources isn't better BUT it now exists in both forms so judge for yourself, it's a gripping track with ice cold lyrics either way
8. "State Hospital" ~ This is a great American Rock & Roll track in which to point out the fantastic work of Tim Bray (lead guitar), Bo Roberts (drums), and Jimmy Griffith (bass). They've never had a more collected spot-on sound but their individual playing here is spotlight worthy.
9. "Blue Balls" ~ Pure fun, I imagine this one goes over the crowd like a hurricane when played live
10. "Que Es Esto" ~ In the spirit of full disclosure, I've been a fan of Fritz's music for years (as if you couldn't tell by now). A big fan. This track is both a complete departure from anything he's written prior and, at the same time, it's pure Fritz Beer in its delivery and spirit. It's also my favorite track on the new album. Trust me, you'll put it on repeat and drive your significant other straight to the f'n nuthouse in a matter of hours! Brilliant.
11. "Bobby Keys" ~ If country music sounded more like this, which it should, I'd be a fan of country music. Stripped down guitars and words pouring from the wounded heart of a worn out smartass ("you stomped on my balls and you pissed on my rug... but I still love you"). Disc 2 starts off with a winner.
12. "Six Ways to Sunday" ~ Another perfect time to praise the boys in the rhythm section for providing a steady and precise harmonious backbone underneath the playful guitars
13. "Love is a Poison" ~ like Bobby Keys before it, this country flavored diddy makes feeling bad feel pretty good
14. "When I Say Jump" ~ I never thought I'd use Reverend Horton Heat as a reference point for a Fritz Beer tune but here we are. Several genres are intertwined here effortlessly and, again, you'll find those damn toes tapping
15. "Anything That Moves" ~ This particular rocker hails all the way back to Fritz's original band The Bishops and then his next band Punchy. It's never sounded crisper but, like "Wish" on Disc 1, I think that maybe the raw quality of those early versions worked in its favor in some weird way... garage band acoustics can have their charm now and then
16. "Wide Awake Dreaming" ~ NOW, as opposed to the last track, here's a shining example of a previously recorded track that benefits greatly from a larger studio budget and perhaps more time together as a band playing live. The differences here from their debut album to this are both noticeable and welcome.
17. "Biscuit" ~ Another short and sweet, jump up and down, crowd pleaser. If you get the rare opportunity to see these guys live, DO IT!
18. "Needle Exchange" ~ Speaking of live shows, I can speak from experience that this song is a concert favorite. For such somber lyrics it's funky as hell and doesn't quite sound like any other tune in the Fritz Beer catalog...
19. "Spotsy Tavern Drinking Song" ~ Just like "Worry About It Again" from Crown Vic's debut disc, this is the perfect pub song. Old friends reunited, pint after pint after pint consumed, laughs... a picture is painted here that effortlessly puts you right in the bar with your closest allies. Now I'm thirsty!
20. "What Christmas Means" ~ A holiday favorite in my household, lots of Austin Texas references, and (no matter your denomination) just a fun happy jingle. And sometimes that's just perfect.
21. "Hidden Track" ~ I don't want to spoil it but this hidden song is INCREDIBLE. I've avoided using excited expletives this entire review but... F*CK*NG INCREDIBLE. Good luck getting this one out of your head.
Who knows what the future holds for Crown Vic but with each forward step they prove themselves more than worthy of a much larger stage. Support truly original rock and buy this sucker NOW!