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Rock Lotto-Matt Isbell

(Self-released)

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This solo debut album from local rocker Matt Isbell is a gonzo, head-banging, fist-pumping rock record so lacking in irony it seems positively old-fashioned. In fact, this tone -- from the novel casino-esque album art to the blaring, stomping riffage that opens the record -- so permeates the album that even when it takes frequent detours -- bluesy ("Straight Line," "Jessie Mae"), new wave-y ("Rock Lotto"), ballad-y ("Missed Parker"), acoustic ("BBE") --  you still feel like you're listening to a big rock record. Unfortunately, so many other recent local bands -- from catchy Eighty-Katie to even more gonzo Secret Service -- have tread similar trad-rock ground with more musical juice or conceptual smarts that Rock Lotto feels pretty old-hat. -- CH

Grade: C+

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