Reviewed by: Sebastian Mackay
I feel as though I’ve been here before and Pollard and I have already been through this with a different band. His vocals are oh so Eddie Vedder which, while it detracts from Pollard’s sense of individuality, isn’t an entirely bad thing. The guitars are reminiscent of classic rock riffs and combined with the whole delivery layers the album in nostalgia. A feeling that’s reinforced by lyrics “what can I do?/ I like you” which touch tentatively on the contrived coming from a man that has 20 albums in his solo catalog and is in his 50s.
The classic rock feel of this record (case in point; “Return of the Drums” and “Tea People”) plants it right in the center of a pre-existing fan base. Needless to say, Pollard’s original fans will have something they can listen to in delight but I hesitate before suggesting it will bring him too many more new fans. Tracks “Storm Center Level Seven” and “Extra Fool’s Day” borderline on feeling like filler when stacked up against title track “Blazing Gentlemen” and the amusing “My Museum Needs an Elevator” (my museum needs an elevator/help me mister space invader/are you an engineer?).
Blazing Gentlemen doesn’t break any new ground. Indeed, it doesn’t break any ground at all. To its credit, it doesn’t slip into monotony (it comes close, very close) and it will sit easily in any classic rock background playlist that delicately fills dinner party silences.