Entertainment Music
Entertainment Entertainment Music

Album review: J. Roddy Walston and the Business, 'Essential Tremors'

***1/2 (out of four)

A terrific party, J. Roddy Walston and the Business’ “Essential Tremors” has song after song that you expect to support a commercial in which people are doing something more fun than what you’re doing and promoting a product you probably won’t remember. It’s boogie you sweat to, rock that’s classic in the proudest sense. Yes, he wears influences like Led Zeppelin and Little Richard strongly, but who cares when it’s this great?

While not quite as consistently fantastic as 2010’s self-titled sophomore outing, “Essential Tremors” grooves like nobody’s, uh, business, from howling opener “Heavy Bells” to very Zeppelin-y “Sweat Shock” to “Black Light,” which opens with OK Go-esque falsetto. The record’s title comes from a nervous-system disorder that’s long-affected Walston, but anyone can relate to his empowering lyrics that sound less earnest when wailed just right.

By the way: See this band live. You won’t regret it.

Effective ballad “Boys Can Never Tell” may not deliver the goods of the rollicking stuff, but a pianist’s gotta be free to do something somber if he wants to. And then “Same Days” and particularly “Tear Jerk” will kick any bash back into high gear anyway, so it’s all good.

In concert: Sept. 12 at Double Door

Watch Matt on “You & Me This Morning,” Friday at 6:55 a.m. on WCIU, the U

mpais@tribune.com

 

Want more? Discuss this article and others on RedEye's Facebook page.

 

Copyright © 2015, RedEye
Related Content
  • Road to record Emanuel tax hike paved by delays, 'gimmicks'

    Road to record Emanuel tax hike paved by delays, 'gimmicks'

    Moments after taking the oath of office, Mayor Rahm Emanuel told Chicagoans he had "been clear about the hard truths and tough choices we face" and vowed to put "the city of Chicago's financial house in order."

  • Posh Water Tower Place condo: $1.995M

    Posh Water Tower Place condo: $1.995M

    180 E Pearson Street Unit 3301: $1,995,000  Listed on July 17, 2015 Enjoy exceptional north/west views of Michigan Avenue and the lake from the 33rd floor of this three-bedroom-plus-den condo with two full and one-half baths. The perfect combination of elegance and comfort, this 2784-square-foot...

  • Northerly Island's nature preserve now open

    Northerly Island's nature preserve now open

    The only thing that lands on Northerly Island now are birds and butterflies.

  • Where to go to laugh while The Second City undergoes repairs

    Where to go to laugh while The Second City undergoes repairs

    The early-afternoon fire on Aug. 26 that started in the Adobo Grill restaurant next door to The Second City has forced the historic theater to move or cancel all of its performances in their Mainstage, e.t.c and UP Comedy Club theaters until at least Sunday, Sept. 20, which will mark 26 days without...

  • City to offer ticket, tax amnesty program

    City to offer ticket, tax amnesty program

    Faced with pushing through City Council a massive property tax increase and other fees as part of a 2016 budget, Mayor Rahm Emanuel is trying to slightly soften that politically difficult package by offering an amnesty program for people who have unpaid tickets and back taxes they owe the city.

  • O'Hare noise complaints top 2 million for year

    O'Hare noise complaints top 2 million for year

    Complaints about jet noise from O'Hare International Airport topped 2 million during the first seven months of this year — eight times the number filed in all of 2014, the Chicago Department of Aviation said Friday.

Comments
Loading
76°