Rock ’n Roll, What’s That? (Independent)
Jesus Krysler might not be doing anything new, groundbreaking, or even particularly interesting, but at least the band isn’t doing any harm. The trio of singer-guitarist and songwriter Larry Dean Jordan, bassist Chris Rhyder, and drummer Atomic Roy Lewis seems to like both kinds of music: rock and roll. Judging by the nine songs here, it’s a safe bet that Jordan’s record collection spans the years 1970 to 1979.
Jesus Krysler’s forte is riff-driven, meat-and-potatoes rock. There’s nothing wrong with that, although the meat and potatoes could use a little gravy—like, you know, hooks and stuff. The pentatonic guitar solos and four-on-the-floor rhythms are executed decently enough, but the band’s attempts at power pop don’t quite hit the mark. Even so, the chugging distorto-glam of “Spectral Moonlight” and the more-cowbell barroom stomp of “She Walks” manage to conjure a little of the gutter-trash exuberance of the New York Dolls. (You get the feeling, however, that Jordan was going for something a bit closer to Kiss.)
“She Walks” also contains what passes for lyrical cleverness in Jesus Krysler’s parallel universe, where the Me Decade never ended: “You gotta keep a cool head now/It’s hard ’cause she’s so hot.” I see what you did there, Larry Dean!