Chuck Dukowski Sextet reviewed by Howard Wuelfing
Apr 20, 2009, 09:02
CHUCK DUKOWSKI SEXTET Reverse The Polarity CD
The latest release from Chuck Dukowki comes bearing few surprises. Throughout his career, Chuck has been a keen proponent of vintage, riff-heavy power-rock; even his work with Black Flag, those many years ago, was marked by this predilection, but mediated and mixed with his cohorts respective biases.
So if ponderous, bluesy reptilian proto-metallic lick-age is your fetish, you'll be well satisfied with the first few numbers here. When gears shift, it's mainly a matter of timbre: the melodic themes and tempos remain the same but start getting rendered via acoustic instrumentation—actually a shockingly effective change of pace. Thereafter, the tunes grow more abstracted, a bit more Far East flavored—still quite creditable stuff.
My main criticisms of Reverse The Polarity would be this: its perversely amateurish production keeps the drums sounding small and weak, and the guitar distinctly underpowered.Â In addition, vocalist Lora Norton is passable, but not great, yet is mixed way out front overwhelming the instruments to a great degree.
It's important to note that Lora and Chuck are married and that guitarist Milo Gonzalez is their son. So, it's a family affair and it could well be that all aesthetic decisions are informed by that fact, as opposed to the intent of competing with Audioslave.Â
Finally, it's great to see this punk pioneer still writing and playing powerful jams and enjoying himself and hopefully he'll continue. [Nice & Friendly]