Roadrunner Records - Slipknot's hard-hitting, aggressive metal anthems are getting…
- Posted on Jul 25th 2012 11:00AM by Kenneth Partridge
It's a Russian doll of rock 'n' roll meaning, as Dylan sings it in the earnest, heart-safety-pinned-to-sleeve punk style of Elvis Costello, who may have borrowed from the Clash -- one of Jakob's favorite bands -- for his definitive 1978 version. At the same time, Dylan is undoubtedly familiar with Nick Lowe's original, a semi-sincere send-up of the '60s idealism that Jakob's father once embodied, semi-sincerely.
There's danger in reading too much into it, as Dylan, very much to his credit, doesn't aim to be his dad. He's not a trickster or a huckster or a song-and-dance man, but rather a great rock singer and songwriter -- a "frontman," as he tells the Bowery audience his keyboardist used to introduce him to people back in the group's early days.
The Wallflowers are getting ready to release Glad All Over, their first album in seven years, and the numerous new tunes they pack into Tuesday's set go down like old favorites. They have hard-luck titles like "The Devil's Waltz" and "Hospitals for Sinners," and their ringing Telecaster and whirring organ recall the roots-flavored, radio-friendly rockers that broke the band in the '90s.
The only real outlier is "Reboot the Mission," one of two Glad All Over tracks the Wallflowers recorded with Clash guitarist Mick Jones. They could have called it "The Magnificent Seven Ride Again," as the cool dance-punk groove and rap vocal cadence come straight from the Clash's glorious 1981 single "The Magnificent Seven." It's the sound of Doc Marten's touching down at Studio 54, and if Dylan looks a little stiff playing it Tuesday night, he successfully slides out of the shadow cast by the brim of that troubadour's hat perched perennially atop his head.
The old songs, of course, are no-brainers. "One Headlight," "Three Marlenas," "6th Avenue Heartache" -- "a song very much inspired by your city," Dylan says -- and closer "The Difference" are modern classics. It's tough to come galloping out of the gate with something like Bringing Down the Horse, the 1996 album whose four hits the Wallflowers will forever be obligated to play, but compared to the weight of the family baggage Dylan will never be able to check, it's not worth sweating, so the Wallflowers don't.
The best thing they can do is not over-think these things and carry on writing the kind of sturdy, sincere rock songs they always have. Mission: rebooted, unaltered, accomplished.