From the first 5 seconds of Flo's Barbershop, you can tell that Lebocat never bought into the grunge revolution, never cared about alternative rock, and certainly feel that today's emphasis on gloomy depressing introspective music is stupid. This power trio from California is all about the rock. If you have your copies of Van Halen and Journey out of sight, but near-enough at hand to crank 'em on a beautiful day, you'll want to look into Lebocat.
Frankly, from the first listen, it seemed this would be a review complaining about how non-groundbreaking the music is. However, after a few listens, enlightenment dawned clear: by playing rock that makes you feel good. This music is groundbreaking, in its own way. Sure, they could have tried to compete with the rock on the major stations, but why? It wouldn't be authentic, it wouldn't be Lebocat rock. So what would the point be?
Featuring guitar pyrotechnics, drum bombast, and thundering bass lines, all of which sound HUGE, the '80's and early '90's are back in style. "Good Times" kicks off Flo's Barbershop, and the energy doesn't let up through 12 songs, though there are 2 ill conceived "skits" (hip-hop style) featuring in-laws talking up the band. Presumably, they are written, and supposed to be funny, but they kinda aren't. However, the final track on the album, "Shut Up," is almost worth the price of admission alone.
Drummer/vocalist Joey Cimino has performed with Eric Martin of Mr. Big fame, and Mr. Martin returns the favor, contributing backing vocals on several tracks. Other guests include Robert Berry of "3," who contributes backing vocals on several songs, and keyboard on another.
There isn't a lot that can be described in a song-by-song breakdown of the album. "Good Times" - Rock anthem. "It's Love" - Rock anthem. "The In-Laws" - skit. "Let's Rock" - Rock anthem. "Looking For Love" - Rock anthem. "No Time" - Rock anthem. "One on One" - Power ballad. "Runnin' From Your Love" - Power ballad (a la Extreme). "Aw class" - skit. "Shakin'" - Rock anthem. "Talkin' To Ya" - Rock anthem / Ode to love. "There's Only One" - Power ballad. "You And Me" - Power ballad. "Wild And Free" - Rock anthem. "Shut Up" - great closer.
So, to check my math...that's 8 Rock Anthems, 3 skits, and 4 Power Ballads. Sounds like something to keep in the car to me! Technically, the album sounds great. The guitars are huge, the bass is solid, and the drums sound crankin'! Vocally, the songs are strong, and with all the guest backing vocals, the backgrounds are polished. All in all, great offering to the gods of rock (who, by the way, told me to tell you that they don't want anymore Alice In Chains sound-alikes, thank you, Staind and Puddle of Mudd and all the rest of ya!)
Dustin Kreidler is a Contributing Writer. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.