PARTING GIFTS, THE: Strychnine Dandelion: CD

I count my lucky stars that I got to catch The Reigning Sound the last time they came through L.A. They were amazing. Nothing flashy, just no-motion-wasted, age-appropriate, kids-don’t-know-shit punk rock. The drummer’s torso barely moved: all limbs. There wasn’t any flailing, but it was powerful, energizing, no-nonsense, and great. After their set, Greg Cartwright got back on stage and did a mini, four-song set with The Parting Gifts, where he duets with a woman who was in the opening band, The Ettes. Strychnine Dandelion is like tuning into and lingering on a perfectly DJ’d radio show. Soul, R&B, and ‘60s rock are all played, without the allergizing dust, the smell of yellowed record jackets, or the embarrassing retro-Fonzie-as-lifestyle genre locking other bands happily handcuff themselves to. It’s this type of time-traveling wizardry—it’s contemporary music, my friends, without discarding that initial fire of entire genres of music that many “industries” have declared not economically viable in this new world—that keeps me in healthy awe of and appreciation for all of the bands Greg Cartwright’s involved with. This is some fantastic hard-to-make, easy-to-listen-to music

 –todd (In The Red)