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CD Reviews: Review of Tragic City by Taylor Hollingsworth
Red Rocker Home / CD Reviews Home / Entertainment Channel / Bullz-Eye Home

Click here to buy yourself a copy from Amazon.com   Taylor Hollingsworth: Tragic City (Brash Music 2006)

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If the scrawny, mop-topped Taylor Hollingsworth pushed past you to get a beer at the bar, chances are you wouldn’t even notice. Nothing about young Hollingsworth appears to set him apart from any other dope-smoking guitar-totting kid from the south, Birmingham, AL to be exact. Until he plugs in that guitar and goes off with a stack of traditional garage band originals, fast recalling everyone from Alice Cooper to Dinosaur Jr. and the White Stripes.

From the opening slice n’ dice riff of “Take The Money,” which steals equally from Let It Be-era Replacements and the Stooges, Hollingsworth and his band rip through brief but volatile crashes of dingy, sweat-soaked rock n’ roll. “I’m a Runaway (New Orleans)” shakes a capricious ‘70s vibe, and even spills a retro organ part that is pure Eric Burdon and the Animals, while the kid attests, “the vibrations hypnotize, all my sense realize, this could be the only place for me” with an ode to the hurricane-ravaged swampland. But it’s the frenzied guitar work on “How Could You Be So Cold” and “Like a Cave” that really validates this debut.

Not all of Tragic City is as animated or gutsy as the rollicking “Duct Taped Heart” or the first single “When I Get Around” (each of which should soar this spring on college radio waves). A two-bit attempt at old school blues (“Gambling Barroom Blues”) makes a face plant, while the patience meter really gets tested during the hokey saloon shamble “Bonnie and Clyde.” “In From the Storm” is a drug-induced calamity and should’ve never shared space with the radiant likes of “Little Queenie.” Far and away the major shortcoming here is Hollingsworth’s nasal vocals that, when put front and center, will grate on every sense known to man. If he can remain inconspicuously behind this competent, hook-heavy garage band that adds energy and stamina to his compositions, then the baby-faced Birmingham wonder can get on just fine.

No question that young Taylor Hollingsworth has done well in assembling his influences. T. Rex, early Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, the Pixies, they’re all there. What’s not to like about 13 originals (the lone exception being the aforementioned Jimmie Rodgers blues number) penned by a kid barely legal to drink away the blues he already seems to be an expert on? Cheer up, Taylor. Your Tragic City might one day look like Candyland! 

~Red Rocker 




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