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Vampire Blues

Manhattan (Beach)

by Overpass

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nicholdav like Lou Reed fronting the Dead Milkmen after they took lessons from a jazzbo
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Parachutes 02:41
Scratch 02:32
Cornshovel 02:40
Left Unseen 03:03
Special 'd' 01:10
Some Song 02:33
Save The Cat 01:41
Apologize 03:31
Mouse House 06:33


After Slovenly ended in 1992, three of the band’s mainstays headed back to Southern California and regrouped. As Overpass, guitarist/singer Tom Watson (also a member of Red Krayola), bassist Scott Ziegler (whose other band, Dingle, issued Red Dog on New Alliance in 1994) and drummer Rob Holzman took the freewheeling tradition-busting of their past and applied it to crafty songs whose clear-eyed focus benefits from the trio’s ability to take the scenic route and still not get lost.

Overpass has its jazzy side, especially when the band hits the accelerator in tight formation displays of wiggly whatsit, or when guest Lynn Johnson of Cruel Frederick blows a little bass clarinet into the improvisations. But it’s steadfastly a smart and humorous rock album, one with a lot more to offer than, say, Primus. When they present themselves, the clearly delineated songs balance helpful verse/chorus attributes with bizarre lyrics, hairpin melodic turns, craggy (and sometimes Neil Young-y) guitar interjections and don’t-try-these-at-home obstacle course rhythms. Free advice: start with “R.C Kola,” “Craze,” “Boniak Harvest” or the Zappaesque “Rubber Nipple” to avoid the sense of cerebral dryness conveyed by the album’s first few numbers.

Manhattan (Beach) pulls in the experimental reins for a tighter, more disciplined version of the first album’s complicated songhood. Diminished risk-taking doesn’t make Overpass a safer bet, however. Having played together for so many years, the three seem able to think as one; whatever spark — and rhythmic depth — seems absent here may be attributable to a lack of tension in the creative process. Even with Watson’s plain voice (which resembles Lou Reed when he still sang) helping calm the sometimes turbulent, sometimes showy instrumental waters, the songs don’t flow as easily, and stylistic ingredients that aided the effort the first time out are more like distractions here.[Ira Robbins]Trouser Press


released August 1, 1995

Produced by Mayo Thompson
Recorded and mixed by Eddie Ashworth at Icebone and Total Access studios in Redondo Beach, CA 1993-1994
Mastered by Howie Weinberg

Artwork Ewige Feile' by Albert Oehlen

originally released on CD on Smells Like Records


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Overpass Los Angeles, California

Overpass was born in 1988 in San Francisco, CA. practicing, performing & recording occasionally. This is their second album after returning to Los Angeles. It was done in Redondo Beach, CA. at Icebone and Total Access studios. 1993-4

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