BETTER FRIEND by BILL BOTTING AND THE TWO DRINK MINIMUMS

From the ashes of the gone-too-soon band Allo Darlin comes a solo album by their bass player, Bill Botting, along with his sister, Paul Rains (also from Allo Darlin), and several other talented musicians.  And it’s great.  The album is propelled on kind and gentle singles like Better Friend and Knew You When, and Treating You Right.  It feels like “regular” pop, but then you get back-up harmonies singing about how someone is an asshole.  There’s standard guitar solos and driving riffs, but then you’ll get a seven-minute duet, “Feeling Sad,” that moves at its own pace, and tells a remarkably specific and intimate story…And when you think there’s no room for more suprises you get a new take on Paul Simon’s pop masterpiece “Graceland.”  And it’s actually better than the original.

You’ll hear strains of The Rolling Stones and Lou Reed at times—riffs and through-lines that are just close enough to be familiar, but still unique to this wonderful band.

This album almost makes it worth losing Allo Darlin.

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