steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

Terry Anderson and the Olympic Ass-Kickin Team

"National Champions" CD

Doublenaught Records

Genre: rock, country-rock

Raleigh, NC

October 2009

Congratulations to Terry Anderson and his Olympic Ass-Kickin Team on a feisty and infectious rock album. These folks don't reinvent the genre, but they play with ample verve and hook. Still, National Champions brings to mind an oft-neglected fact: pop albums these days are often just too long. When it comes to a generically straightforward pop/rock record, rarely do things stay fresh past the thirty minute mark. Longer albums tend to be unfortunately repetitious, and there's a frequent tendency toward filler. Accordingly, Anderson and co. blast through many a pop hook on this twelve-song effort, but their spirited romping wears a little thin by the disc's end - a shame, since several of the best efforts seem to have been stashed in the disc's tail end.

Still, looking this disc over, it will be the better songs that live on in my memory. Call me a romantic. With inevitable comparisons to Tom Petty and Neil Young, twangy "Lost Your Number" and Who-influenced "Is We or Ain't We" have the sort of hooks that surface in your dreams. Then there's the infectious Rolling Stones/country-rock hybrid of "Lover Like That" (good but the production lacks warmth), and mellow ballad "Feel Right Now." Sadly, a fair bit of filler bogs the record down ("Willie Mays," dreadfully bland "Indy 500," "Found Missin'") - but that's what iPods are for, right? Above all, National Champions cements Anderson as a respectable pop songwriter with an obvious appreciation for classic rock.

terry anderson and the OA-KT's myspace

Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 12 tracks, distributed by the label, released 2009]