VIRGINIA GENTLEMEN, THE: Self-titled: LP

I appreciate that The Virginia Gentlemen are doing a kind of Jim Carroll Band thing—solid rock riffs and a vocalist who rants or recites or explores more than sings. It might be a stretch to call Brian Idle Diederich a poet, though he does drink from wishing wells and does see a lost kite in the wind. There’s an overall attempt at the universal through the specific, but the songs feel in-jokey and there’s a distancing effect. Props to Diederich’s aunt for bagging Vinnie Vincent, though. –Matt Werts (Idle Edsel, idleedsel.com)