GUN CLUB: In My Room: LP

Damn, I love the Gun Club. The reason I started reading Razorcake is because of the Gun Club (the first issue I bought was #29, featuring Ryan Leach’s oral history. I still have it and it’s beat to hell from how much I lent it out to friends.) I would argue (and win) that Jeffrey Lee Pierce’s solo LP Wildweed is criminally underrated. So, I was excited to find out that an apparent “final” Gun Club album would see the light of day. Bang! Records has been doing right by the Gun Club the past few years with high-quality reissues. But, my music budget is tight these days, and this is a costly import, so it took some arm-twisting to convince myself to buy this. I’m not sure how I feel, even after many spins. I prefer to view these songs as works in progress. JLP’s voice sounds better than I thought it would for this stage of his self-abused life. But there’s some magic missing from the guitars. Most of the tracks are rhythm heavy (not a bad thing) and lack JLP’s unique noodling. There are too many covers (“Land Of 1000 Dances” is absolutely unnecessary; “Can’t Explain” doesn’t offend me; I can’t believe anyone would try to pass off “Shame and Pain” as anything other than a rip off of the Lovin’ Spoonful’s “Summer in the City.” Seriously!) The packaging itself is a nice gatefold with lyrics, but I would have preferred liner notes instead. I don’t want to sound like I’m dumping all over this, but In My Room is more for Gun Club completists. I know you’re out there, and you will want this album. –Sal Lucci (Bang!)