C. J. Walsh
Upper Crust - Entitled
Entitled - The Upper Crust – CD Reptilian Records (2000)
Third offering from Boston-based fops sees them continuing to mine their effete aristocratic roots for musical inspiration. Of course, in person with their powdered wigs, white pancake makeup and other accoutrements of the privileged class, they are a sight indeed.
This double-live CD for the price of a single gives a good overview of the band's repertoire, with new numbers like Persona Non-Grata and Paradise Lost standing ably next to crowd favorites – Let There Be Rock and Rock 'n Roll Chauffer. When approaching the Crust, think of AC/DC born as a rakish dandies 200 years ago. Like their Australian counterparts they have a fixation for hard-edged riffs and casual sex. The Crust even scored a slot on the recent AC/DC tribute disc, Hell Ain't A Bad Place To Be, doing a version of Back in Black that managed the difficult feat of being both menacing and casual.
The record’s all-original material, featuring sneering vocals by Lord Bendover (Boston punk rock veteran, Nat Friedberg, ex-Titanic's, ex-Satanics, ex-Flies) offers the band's whimsical views on everything from diseased Chinese servants – Little Rickshaw Boy, to the ennui of life after boarding school – We’re Finished With Finishing School, Tell Mother I'm Home. Suffice to say there is a refreshing lack of political correctness.
Despite a couple routine numbers that stretch the concept a bit thin, their performance before a hometown crowd sounds invigorating and enthusiastic. Particular kudos to the Duc D’istortion. (Dave Fredette) on lead guitar. He goes for the throat every time and never comes up short. A competent rhythm section keeps the chamber music focused and tight.
The buzz behind this particular release is that the band had a disagreement with the ruffians from their old label for whom an entire new record had been prepared. So presumably, to avoid lengthy litigation, the group decided to rerecord all the new songs live and issue them on another label with a whole other disc of crowd pleasers.
The Upper Crust are best appreciated live, catch them July 8 at Lily’s in Somerville, Massachusetts for a CD- release party and don't forget your wig.
Published in Boston Dig Magazine Band Photo by Jerry Cogliano