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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

 

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Copyright © 2015, RedEye
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