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Things Are Not All right



It's been a breakout year for local Goner Records, whose busiest-ever release schedule has raised their national profile and made them one of the most interesting and productive indie rock (if not quote "indie rock") labels around.

The latest Goner release is Things Are Not All Right, the label's second from Chicago trio CoCoComa, which is led by drummer/singer Bill Roe and guitarist/singer Lisa Roe, initially a simple husband-and-wife duo smartly rounded out by bass and organ from tag-along Mike Fitzpatrick.

Things Are Not All Right — the album's 10 songs clocking in at a rambunctious 26 minutes — is fun, energetic genre music. It's unlikely to appeal beyond the garage-rock scene in the way that the likes of the Reigning Sound and Jay Reatard do, but it's sonic catnip for aficionados of the form.

Truthfully, it's the kind of rough, simple stuff that improves live in a dark club with sweating, bouncing compatriots, but Things Are Not All Right is pretty okay on disc too. And a lot of the time it's more than that.

Bill Roe leading off the urgent "It Won't Be Long" with the promise "Our love is strong/It will endure" is a righteous, winning moment. The borderline rockabilly breakdown on the final stretch of "Never Be True" swings hard. And vocal harmonies are a cut above throughout. ("It Won't Be Long," "Lie to Me," "Never Be True") — CH

Grade: B+

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