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Music Review: Tab The Band – Pulling Out Just Enough To Win

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Adrian and Tony Perry’s dad (Aerosmith’s Joe Perry) may rave about the wonders of Pro Tools recording technology, but these well-schooled classic rock descendants who call themselves TAB The Band might as well come from the pre-Pro Tools era. Their debut album, Pulling Out Just Enough To Win, released this past January (North Street Records), has a ‘60s/’70s throwback vibe that comes off as refreshing rather than rehashing.

The leader of this power trio (which also included drummer Ben Tileston), singer/bassist Adrian Perry has no physical resemblance to Mick Jagger, but that distinctive attitude and sneering-style vocal attack he invented in the ‘60s has clearly rubbed off on the younger Perry (just as The Stones influenced his father’s band). Hear it on tracks like the sleazy, bluesy and Stonesy “Paid For By,” “Chuckles” and on the timeless raw rocker and live favorite “Secretary’s Day,” a should-be hit in a perfect world.

The bright chords on pop ditty “CYT” make for another sunny song with a harmony vocal tag team (via the Perry boys) and an obvious ‘60s garage rock vibe. It also serves as tribute of sorts to soldiers: “California here I come/Another broken soldier on the run.”

TAB The Band takes the listener through the record’s eleven-track journey via pure, no bullshit rock and roll and does it with all the exuberant youthful energy you’d expect from a college rock band. And though Adrian Perry’s tuneful yells recall similarly classic rock-minded Australian rockers Jet and legendary rock voices of the past, the raw passion on this disc is all his own.

The same could be said about guitarist Tony Perry as well, whose slide-guitar playing on many tracks could be traced back to any of his father’s projects (early Aerosmith and the Joe Perry Project), yet is performed with a heaviness and precision that separates him from his father. Tracks like “The Continental, TBE” and the butt-kickin’ slide guitar-dominating CD closer “The Captain” follow in this trend. The latter also features a bold lyric lift – “your rabbit gone died — from the Steven Tyler-penned Aerosmith classic “Sweet Emotion.” So maybe TAB is just asking to be compared to Aerosmith, after all.

Elsewhere, the moderately paced “House of El Ron” comes the closest to justifying comparisons to early Aerosmith or any other classic stoner hard rock gem, if for no other reason that it simply ROCKS from start to finish. Coming in at around just two-and-a-half minutes, you’ll have this one on repeat again and again, no doubt. The same could be said for the hard (stoner) rockin’ “Mitch Connor.” It’s one of a few tracks with some impressive solo guitar work from Tony. And “Le Colonelle” is another loud, badass, almost angry love song propelled by dirty slide work and Tileston’s dynamic drumming.

In all, POJETW is a loud and raw full length that doesn’t let up much at all; it rocks to the very end, the way all great rock albums should. And with every song clocking in at under four or three minutes, you’re not likely to get bored with any track for long, if at all.

If there’s any real criticism to be had, it’s that the album could use some different key changes – about six of the eleven tracks start out in the key of G – but who cares when the songs are solid all the way around. This just means that there is at least some room for artistic growth and perfecting of their craft, which should take care itself on future albums if the band stays as focused then as they are on their debut disc.

I highly recommend Pulling Out Just Enough To Win to any Aerosmith fan and any Aero fan who dug Joe Perry’s solo work. It’s loud, sleazy-fun rock and roll. ‘Enuff said.

For more info on TAB The Band, visit their Myspace page.

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About Charlie Doherty

Copy editor/content writer for Penn Multimedia; print/web journalist/freelancer, formerly for Boston Examiner, EMSI, Demand Media, Brookline TAB, Suite 101 and Helium.com; co-head sports editor & asst. music editor at Blogcritics Magazine; Media Nation independent newspaper staff writer, printed/published by the Boston Globe at 2004 DNC (Boston, MA); Featured in Guitar World May 2014. See me on twitter.com/chucko33, myspace.com/charlied, & Facebook.