A bottle of cheap wine, some basic recording equipment and a pile of old Rolling Stones, Iggy Pop and Television records was all it took for Judah Bauer (of Jon Spencer Blues Explosion fame) and his brother Donavan to come up with a stripped-down, minimalist (but well-produced) enema for overblown, underemotional radio rock.
Every now and again it's good to clear out the cobwebs and get back to the raw blues that fueled early rock and punk. This record has its rough spots, particularly the spectacularly awful "Sympathize" and the repetition that characterizes some of the tracks. The singing is also painfully thin in spots, really crying out for more soulful treatment.
On the other hand, the sonic quality is beautifully clear, yet very real -- the spare instrumentation is kept edgy and genuine. Violent Femmes fans itching for new material or Lou Reed devotees would do well to check this CD out. 20 Miles doesn't cover new ground or even explore old chords with new angles, but you're far more likely to make a real emotional connection to this than, say, the latest Hole record. There was a time when that mattered.
We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Orlando Weekly works for you, and your support is essential.
Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Central Florida.
Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.
Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Orlando’s true free press free.