Monday, June 16, 2008

pseudo-review: "Roller", April Wine, 1979

(youtube link)

I know very little about April Wine's music other than this one song. Based on just this one song, I would classify them as sort of a Canadian version of Foghat. That statement, based mostly on ignorance, could possibly anger fans of both April Wine and Foghat, but I ain't scared.

The song opens with a guitar riff similar to Rush's "finding my way". This makes me suspect that this song is probably pretty much what Rush would have been up to by this time if Neil Peart had never joined the band.

After about 15 seconds and some screaming, the song gets down to business. The chunga-chung-chung rhythm is a positively eerie foreshadowing of the much-later hit "Man, I feel like a woman" by fellow Canadian Shania Twain. No, I am not joking. That's really what it sounds like.

When the verses start, that's when the Foghat similarity comes in. Although the vocalist of this band screams more or less like any 70's Robert Plant imitator during the intro, when he actually sings the sound comes out extremely "Fool for the City".

This was apparently April Wine's biggest U.S. success and the song that finally got them some play down south after a decade of Canadian existence. I can probably attribute that to the fact that the lyrics are not about anything even remotely Canadian, but instead deal with Las Vegas, the city that's more American than America.

The solo is the real standout of this song, and is everything 70s. Dueling lead guitars, phase shifters, creepy long delays, and more pull-offs than (insert some kind of joke about somebody having sex with a bunch of groupies here).

That "flying saucer taking off" effect after the solo and before the last verse sounds like one of those things I've heard a million times but can't actually name any of them when put on the spot.

The ending sounds a lot like Led Zepplin's "How Many More Times", which is faintly ironic considering how derivative that song itself is generally considered to be.

If you think this is a negative review, then you don't know me. This song has "guilty pleasure" written all over it, and if there's one thing I indulge in without a hint of guilt, it's guilty pleasures.

On my particular iPod this particular morning, the song is randomly followed by Paul Simon's "Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes".


Am i the only person to interpret the meaning of the verb "Feel" in "Man, I Feel Like a Woman" the same way one would interpret it in "Man, I Feel Like a Donut" or "Man, I Feel Like Another Krystal" ?