SUMMER ALBUM ROUNDUP : POST-PUNK EVERLYS
“LOVE & HOPE & SEX & DREAMS.” The BoDeans. Slash. Despite the cover billing, Milwaukee’s BoDean “brothers” aren’t really any more related to one another than are the Ramones. But there is a bit of a familial feel when lead singers Beau and Sammy duet on loping country-folk-pop-rock ditties about looking for love (and other stuff) in all the wrong places. In the best moments on their ingratiating debut, the BoDeans call to mind a post-punk Everly Brothers, romantic but practical and maybe even a little spiteful all at the same time.
Beau’s voice is the more conventional, but Sammy’s rough, nasal tone takes the tunes into another realm altogether. “I like the way ya dance, I like the way ya paint your lips,” Sammy spits, and his target may hiss or succumb but she’s not going to ignore him.
It helps that his acoustic guitar and Beau’s electric guitar are backed by a rhythm section that has a kick not unlike Los Lobos. That may not be a complete coincidence, since the producer of both bands is T-Bone Burnett--a reliable name whose records always sound as if he just let the tapes roll, but which bring out the honesty of the performers too consistently to let you presume that’s the case.
If the album’s title sounds highfalutin, the content is anything but. The BoDeans’ roots and results are basic through and through, but if you find sentiments like “If I can hold you tonight, I might never let go” (from “Still the Night,” the record’s one instant classic) approaching your threshold of acceptable profundity, you may find it in your heart to join the brethren. The BoDeans are due in town to play the Coach House on Saturday and the Roxy on July 10.