Pop Funk Americana
Bands that offer themselves as any kind of 'experience' immediately come up against two major problems; firstly, to claim that you are going to give your audience an actual 'experience', as opposed to simply serenading them with music puts an enormous amount of pressure on you as a performer, and conjures up images and expectations of mystical, LSD-fuelled travels through time and space, harking back to the days when to go an see the Zep play, you would have to pack your passport, a teepee and a sacrificial offering to the Gods of rock in the form of a small child, goat or wrap of acid. Secondly, you're never gonna beat Jimi, the true Experience.
These fears cast aside, The Alan Cohen Experience have released a small album filled with songs that reference artists as wide ranging in their musical styles as Frank Zappa, Adam Green and Simon and Garfunkel; however, as is the case of many bands that choose to emulate such an eclectic group of idols, The A.C.E. never reaches anywhere close to the heights that they are striving for.
'Rock Biter' is a slice of tub-thumping rock from the Primal Scream songbook, yet does not have any of the soul that Bobby Gillespie channels into the 'Rocks', the Scream's hit that Cohen is so clearly basing his plodding funk upon. 'Train God' could probably pass as a Ben Folds Five B-side, but lacks the wit and sparkling sarcasm of Folds' songs, although clocking in at under two minutes, it is hard to attach any true feeling to it, be it positive or negative. The bluesy jaunt of 'Ranger Stranger' is fairly engaging and is quite fun to follow, it's melodic, “woo ooh's” lying just on the right side of twee; however, one decent song in a collection of six average ones is hardly enough for the listener to enjoy the entire experience.
So, The A.C.E. aren't Hendrix, nor are their gigs likely to play host to anyone drug-charged orgies and their music is anything but extraordinary; in fact, there is little that is actually going for them at all...oh yeah, there's always that great name. Sorry, but it's been a long day.