Music Reviews

Wayne Kramer

Adult World

Muscle Tone

It’s a pretty sure bet that when former MC5 guitarist Wayne Kramer fills out his tax forms, he puts “legend” under occupation. His work with the 5, along with The Stooges, put Detroit on the map, rock-wise, and can be called the birthplace of punk rock. Combining chainsaw guitar with free-jazz improv, Wayne Kramer started a revolution. Since getting rid of some of the demons that plagued him since the late ’60s, Kramer has released several solo records, of which Adult World is the latest.

Does it rock harder than 99.9% of the crap out there? Yeah. Does Brother Wayne still play a stinging Stratocaster? You bet. Is this a great record? Not really. The straight-up rock songs are rather tepid, and the spoken-word (with cool-daddy-o jazz backing from Detroit’s X-Max-X) “Nelson Algren Stopped By” sounds much like early Tom Waits with honkin’ horns instead of piano. The Hellacopters stop by for “Talkin’ Outta School,” Syd Straw does the same on “What About Laura?” and it helps a bit, but this just isn’t a record that is going to make you kick out the jams. Part of the problem might be the sound of the tunes – this record most likely would sound great recorded live, but in its present format, it is a bit flat. Still better than most stuff out there, but it can’t hold a candle to five seconds of “Ramblin’ Rose.” But then again, not much can.

Wayne Kramer:

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