CONCRETE BLONDE: Group Therapy: CD

Here is something that I had great anticipation for and at the same time great apprehension for. They were favorites of my wife and I for a long time. Many times we went to go see them because they were an incredible band. They did their last hurrah with Mexican Moon that came out, I think, around 1993 and shortly thereafter broke up. My opinion was that the timing was right since that album was uneven and unfocused. It took me awhile to actually listen to this because I was ready to be disappointed. I had heard others tell me that this was not good. I waited ‘till now, as I write, to listen and hear for myself what this reunion would sound like. I’m glad I waited a while before listening because it took the biased opinion out of me. I disagree with the others on this release. I find this more of a mature recording; brooding and edgy as once before. It reminds me of the darker moments of 1990’s Bloodletting. Johnette Napolitano’s vocals are as strong as ever and still put chills down my spine at moments. James Mankey’s guitar playing has continued to improve while still painting a emotive aura around the music. If Harry Rushakoff was not included as the drummer, it would have made the whole reunion pointless. The magic the three have created here is a good sign that the infighting and turmoil no longer exists. The songs are focused and made me, as a fan of theirs, regain faith in them again.

 –don (Manifesto)