Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

Consumer Guide:
  User's Guide
  Grades 1990-
  Grades 1969-89
  Expert Witness
Books:
  Going Into the City
  Consumer Guide: 90s
  Grown Up All Wrong
  Consumer Guide: 80s
  Consumer Guide: 70s
  Any Old Way You Choose It
  Don't Stop 'til You Get Enough
Writings:
  CG Columns
  Rock&Roll& [new]
  Rock&Roll& [old]
  Music Essays
  Music Reviews
  Book Reviews
  NAJP Blog
  Playboy
  Blender
  Rolling Stone
  Billboard
  Video Reviews
  Pazz & Jop
  Recyclables
  Newsprint
  Lists
  Miscellany
Bibliography
NPR
Web Site:
  Home
  Site Map
  What's New?
Carola Dibbell:
  Carola's Website
  Archive
Venues:
  Noisey
CG Search:
Google Search:
Twitter:
***

HAMELL ON TRIAL
Tough Love
Righteous Babe

Bald songwriter tackles the big subjects from a lowlife perspective

Hamell on Trial is Syracuse, New York-raised Ed Hamell, who led a bunch of bands before going solo and acoustic after a benefit concert one-off. No folk-punk or antifolkie plays harder or louder. His debut on the label of fellow traveler Ani DiFranco, featuring a neat alt-celeb studio band, isn't as undeniable as 2000's self-released, story-filled Choochtown. But Hamell hasn't lost his knack for describing true crime and evoking existential outrage. Love and mortality also interest him, sometimes in tandem--"When Destiny Calls," which mixes coke dealing with child rearing, or "Tough Love," about a sociopathic couple bringing their hots to your town. But on the whole, Hamell sides with God, who gets the lead role in the tone-setting "Don't Kill."

Blender, Sept. 2003