Songs From an American Movie Volume 2: Good Time For a Bad Attitude

Capitol Records

As promised (or threatened, depending on how you look at it), Everclear follows up last year’s Volume One with a record that returns them to a more, er, rocking aesthetic. Volume Two maintains the sonically huge sounds (big pounding drums, monster guitars) of the last record but ultimately lacks the charm of the sweet nostalgic pop offerings on that record. Vocalist Art Alexakis and the band may have felt like it was a Good Time for A Bad Attitude but this bad attitude comes off as contrived and just as emotionally stunted as most of the stuff on the radio airwaves these days.

On “Rock Star,” Alexakis sings “I want to sing the songs that all those little people want to hear… I just want to be a rock star/I want to tell the little people they can kiss my ass.” I hope for his sake he’s not serious.

Elsewhere, the band seems to recycle the nagging riff to their 1995 hit “Santa Monica” in about four or five songs, including the opening “When It All Goes Wrong Again.” That lack of creativity is not a good sign for such a young band. But as Alexakis sings on “Short Blonde Hair,” “No one really understands just how simple and plain and predictable I am.” Or as he puts it on “Out of My Depth”: “I am out of my league/Watching everything just slip away from me.” A few more turkeys like this one, and that’s a definite possibility.

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