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James at 35

by The Breakup Society

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Robin Zander 03:45
Corn Palace 04:10


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Hailed in the All Music Guide as "the last great unheralded normal man in American rock," Ed Masley of the Frampton Brothers is back with a new band, Pittsburgh’s The Breakup Society, whose debut, "James at 35," combines the most pretentious idea in rock (the concept album) with the least pretentious idea in rock (the "girl" song).

Dig these Cliff's Notes if you don't believe us: Thrown into an existential crisis when he finds out he's the only person in the room who still remembers the name of the rock star he wanted to be as a kid, the title character looks back at how he came to find himself holed up in Mitchell, South Dakota, sending letters to the only girl he ever loved with pictures of himself outside a tourist trap she doesn't quite remember having stopped at As he sings in the punk-rock "La Bamba" that is "Introduction to Girls," "No words of Hemingway could make you stay and love me true/No existentialist could prove that I exist/And I have found no application/For the history of our nation/That would make me any harder to resist."

Recorded in the desert heat of Mesa, Arizona, with the great Bob Hoag producing, "James at 35" is a hook-intensive blast of old-school rock 'n' roll with roots in vintage power-pop, pre-"Tommy" Who, the Troggs and old Phil Spector records, served up with a wall of vocal harmonies that effectively sweeten the deal without taking the edge off the raucous abandon of the band's performance.

Working from a burned CD, the Pittsburgh City Paper's Justin Hopper wrote that "Ronnie Spector, Robin Zander and a host of girls the Society either got dumped by or never got the chance to get dumped by are the cast of characters in songs that alternately stomp and swoon like a 'This Year's Model'-era Elvis Costello, if old horned-rimmed didn't take himself so damn seriously."


released February 13, 2004

Produced by Bob Hoag


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