The Alrights’ Meeting of the St. Louis County League

The Alrights’ NEW Album Release: Meeting of the St. Louis County League of Volunteer Astronauts: Excerpts form the Keynote Address.

Andrew Olson

Reader Weekly

Mark your calendars folks, Saturday at the Tap Room one of the best albums that you have heard in your life is being released, with the acronym of MOTSLCLOVAEFTKNA.

“The main point of the album title is a funny way of suggesting the longing we all have to understand something we could never understand,” Toby Churchill said. “The graphic on the EP is a boy reaching out for the moon, which is smiling back at him, so I think that sums up the feeling.”

Usually in a music review I will go through and try to sound all cute with quotes and descriptions of songs using big words like “saturnine”, “verve”, or “pinnacle”, but this album is just too good for that. It is the album I have been waiting for, and even better than my favorite band The White Stripes’ recent release.

It restores your faith in rock that was being toyed with in front of our faces with bands like Jet, The Strokes, The Hives, etc.

This is that one CD that everyone MUST own. It is not a “want” item in life, but a “need” that you cannot live without.

Most of the time when I drive or am at work I listen to the classics of rock, complaining in my head that today things are just never as great as they were back in the old days of rock and roll. This album makes me change my mind and see that maybe bands the likes of The Beatles are alive today, and that perhaps we live in a very cold version of Liverpool.

Best of all is that we get the greatest band in the world right here in our town, and no one else knows about it yet.

I know I am gushing on this CD, but I will stake my career as a music writer on this one. If it isn’t one of the greatest CDs you have heard in years, write back to me and call me a liar. If I get mail back I will quit writing music reviews for the rest of my life.

Bands like Trampled By Turtles are like drinking beer, an “acquired taste,” usually from the friends you hang out with or an exposure to a new form of music at some point. The Alrights are more of a serious drug than beer though... like injecting heroin (Not that I have done it, or condone its deadly use). From the moment the CD starts, the music hits you like the ear equivalent of when Ewan McGregor falls into the floor in Trainspotting. As Ewan, or “ Renton,” said, “Take the best sex you’ve ever had, multiply it by thousand and you’re still nowhere near it.”

If you don’t know, The Alrights consist of Toby Churchill (Vocals/Guitar/Keyboard), Danny Cosgrove (Vocals/Bass), and Chad Amborn (Drums/Beat). They are a three-piece group that has been working their butts off with regional tours and local shows while recording their album in Minneapolis with Ben Durrant at Crazy Beast Studio. That’s the same studio that recorded Chicago’s Andrew Bird’s latest album Armchair Apocrypha.

The first song on the Alrights CD, “When I Get Born” is catchy, and has a beat that drives into your soul. A xylophone sound from the keyboard accentuates the infectious feel in the changes, and Amborn bangs away on the skins into the next verse. The sound at times is like a bubble floating to the surface, only to be greeted by an “ahh” being sung like in those old Coke commercials.

The next song, “Happy Birthday Universe” reminded me of Sgt. Pepper’s by the Beatles. Soft piano, intricate lyrics, and an almost fatigued voice from Churchill highlight the tune. Then an organ resonates in the background and the choruses drag out with little accents and splashes of various sounds. A circus feel can be felt, mixed in with a sluggish slowness that plays with the listener’s ears. It’s almost as if The Beatles had reunited in the mid- to late-seventies.

“All This Time” comes next with a modern feel that is the farthest away from what you would expect in an Alrights song. Lots of accents and timed out perfection rings throughout the tune. For the people who don’t like the rock or pop side of the band, this one has the depth and sound that you would love.

“Love Love Love Love Love” steals the CD, however, and should be playing on a radio near you very soon. This song is Danny Cosgrove’s and it turns the album on its head. He sang and wrote the infectious ditty and repeats the chorus, “Love Love Love Love Love” again and again until it worms its way into your mind.

Maybe because Danny has fallen in love with my now former neighbor Cheryl?

Sometimes falling in love can create some great art; obviously Danny has something special going because he wrote a hit song. I didn’t really care that much for his song, “The Sickness” off of their previous album High School, but the crowd always loved it. With “Love…” he has redeemed himself in my humble opinion, and stolen the entire CD in the process.

The end of our short trip is “All I Know Is Rock ‘n’ Roll” and has a really strong Beatles “Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite” kind of feel. It is like that last bite of some great meal, you savor it, and it makes you want to play the CD one more time.

I suppose by creating controversy that more people will read this article, so let me say this. The Alrights new album is much better than the Cars & Trucks release or any of the other releases I have heard this year. It smokes em’ all, and if the local press doesn’t recognize this band for it, then they are all a bunch of old cronies that need to get over Alan Sparhawk and The Ripsaw.

The Alrights are on the top now, so look out TBT, Charlie Parr, Low, and everyone else… There is a new sheriff in town and a brand new Duluth sound.

At the live show Coal Car Caboose and The Very People will also be performing. The best part is that The Alrights will be playing three entirely new, yet unheard songs for that show. So, all you Renton’s out there…“Choose life…” and go to the show.