Released: November 18, 2008
Anyone who thinks the head is more important than the heart in rock n roll pretty much misses the point. It’s the reason that the MC5 were better than Emerson, Lake and Palmer, the Ramones were better than Steely Dan and the Replacements were better than Def Leppard. Sure, there are bands that give us the best of both worlds, but forced to choose, heart always counts more than head, because we feel the music, we don’t reason through it.
On their self-titled debut, Play clearly understands this. This isn’t the next big thing, but the thing that’s always been. Twenty-five years ago, the American rock underground overflowed with this kind of band: the Replacements, the Del Fuegos, the Smithereens, the Long Ryders and others made a buyers’ market for raw melodies and simple hooks. Today, most raw rock n roll falls into one of several niches, but bands putting soul into basic bar band rock are few and far between. Play goes some way toward filling that void. They aren’t refined, they aren’t brilliant and they aren’t (thank God) perfect, but their pulse is that back beat you can’t lose.
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