Review of Winzenried’s Swell (2006) published at www.winzenried.org
The next time it rains on a warm day, rip your shirt off, feel the drops, and stay out there for a while—don’t be a pussy and run back inside right away. Like the rain on your bare skin, you’ve felt this giggly, tingly way before, but it’s been so long since you felt that way that the whole experience seems fresh and new. Most importantly, it feels GOOD, and you wonder why you haven’t run around with your clothes off in the rain more often.
That’s the feeling that comes from listening to Winzenried’s second, and most recent c.d.: Swell (2006). It’s original, pure pop, distilled from the funk and Bowie and Chili Pepper of his first c.d. Hooray (2004). The difference this time is more Matt Costa, more James Blount. Love has been a lot better to bandleader Eric Winzenried over the past two years, and he’s left all the slutty speed freaks who used to yank his creative crank.
So, with the newfound happiness comes more fun and experimentation in the studio. There’s a whole range of vocal notes and harmonies that Winzenried nails on this c.d. that he dared not try previously. The guitar and keyboard are freed up to really lead. Co-producer Lloyd Stuart Casson’s guitar work on “Unfreeze” is the almighty speaking through a burning bush, and Deacon Jones’ Hammond organ accompaniment is his prophet. This band, the “Hollywood Drunks” as Winzenried calls them, make a party out of it---and it shows.
But let’s make it clear: this c.d. is not a warm-fuzzy puker. Just because he’s in the good graces of Love, doesn’t mean that Winzenried is satisfied. As with his first album, he still pilots a double-hulled tanker full of self-doubt and misgivings about women, money, growing up, and whether any of it will last. He’s still standing in the rain, but he has stripped down and decided to enjoy it.
By C.W. Ross
This release is about growing up and reaching that point in your life when
things change and you realize that your part of the grown up world now
and all the many different things that entails.
Thankfully the band has put it all to music with this release.
The band uses everything from pop and rock to funk, reggae and even
a cappella styles of music for the songs.
The band isn't even afraid to even add some comedy into their music to
drive home a point or to point out one of life's many absurdities.
No matter what the style of music is the entire album is filled with guitar
parts that breath life into each song, be it in the background or front and
center via a smoking solo.
The drum beats are always there keeping each song on time like a well run
railroad's train schedule.
Leading the way on the songs are the superb vocals of Eric Winzenried. His
vocal's vary their range and match to each song as well as any that I've
heard in a long time.
This music comes across as from a band who has been through life and has
come to a content point where they're now willing to take the time to really
enjoy their music and life's journey.
This release is a musical treat that's packed full of enough good tasting
music morsels to fill anyone's cravings.
You need to check it out for yourself!