Fire Note Says: Big riffs and big hooks make Use Your Weapons the party record of the week!
Album Review: Every now and then I get an album to review that defies any sort of critical evaluation. Sometimes it’s because it’s terrible and I can’t make it through the first minute of the first song without wanting to quit listening to music forever, and other times, it’s because a record is so damn awesome that words can’t really describe it. Use Your Weapons is that kind of record. Valley Lodge, consisting of Dave Hill, Rob Pfeiffer, Phil Costello, Eddie Eyeball, and John Kimbrough, has created an album that is so much fun to listen to that I literally had to stop taking notes, and just enjoy it.
I’ve heard the band described as power pop, and I suppose there are elements of that in their sound, but there are also elements of glam, bubblegum, and whatever else you can think of thrown in there. They have guitars, they have a drummer, they utilize keyboards, and they play catchy songs with giant riffs that will make your jaw drop. Dave Hill is no stranger to comedy and he writes witty lyrics without being overtly stupid about it. “Kiss Me, I’m Drunk” is a prime example of this. Not only does the music recall some late 80’s Replacements track, but the lyrics are smart and witty too. “Sweet Elizabeth” unabashedly rips the drums from that “Ballroom Blitz” song that was in Wayne’s World (kidding, I know it was Sweet) and the guitars are absolutely on fire throughout the songs. If “Go” doesn’t make you strut around the house doing Mick Jagger moves after everyone else in the house is asleep, well you’re a better man than I am. What makes this song work so well is the castrato vocal, coupled with the rip roaring guitar. It’s either straight out of the 1970’s or beamed back in time to us from 2070, I can’t tell, and I’m not even going to bother trying.
Use Your Weapons is a good one. I don’t know if it’s going to make my year end list or not, but it’s the best record of all time, at least for tonight, and that’s pretty good, isn’t it?
Key Tracks: ”Kiss Me, I’m Drunk”, “Go”, “Sweet Elizabeth”
Artists With Similar Fire: The Replacements / Raspberries / Cheap Trick