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 email@example.com.
Support Local Journalism.
Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club
Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.
Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.
Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club for as little as $5 a month.