“Berliner Pilsner” 7”
Prior to hearing the “Berliner Pilsner” 7” single, I confess that I had never heard any of C.C. Voltage’s music before but, after hearing these two songs, I feel like I know him. More than that, hearing the “Berliner Pilsner” 7” really takes me back to a different time; a time when when rock had a certain undeniable swagger and a kind of distortion which came out of a classic guitar and a wall of amplifiers – not a “pawn shop special” plugged into a practice amp.
Simply said,“Berliner Pilsner” represents a different time – which, until I heard it, I didn’t realize I missed.
As soon as needle catches groove on the A-side of the “Berliner Pilsner” 7”, listeners will have their sense captivated by the single’s title cut. There, after the singer cracks a can, Voltage lines up some layers of rhythm guitar and a lead figure which perfectly colors the entire song along with a rock-pop vocal performance which couples meticulously composed melodies with light lyrical fare about just having a good time (think Ryan Adams when he’s in a good mood, or Cheap Trick or Sugar – and you’ll be on the right track). It might sound pretty light in print, but it’s catching – and listeners will find they’re sorry to hear it go when the song ends.
The B-side cut, “Bummer Party,” follows a similar formal paradigm but, because the A-side has already primed the circuits, listeners will be able to note a greater care which was obviously taken with this song, compared to its counterpart. Here, fewer layers of heavy duty rhythm guitar chords allow for more arpeggiated tones to shine through the mix, and some slightly more sullen (bordering on resentful) lyrics and vocal melodies become absolutely magnetic, for the right ears. Of course, the guitar solo which plays through the late-running of the song is a little too indulgent for its own good (guitarists often can’t resist making their presence felt too much on what was already a good song, and that tradition holds up here), but it proves not to take away too much from the song – and it still offers a strong close.
Overall, the two cuts which comprise the “Berliner Pilsner” 7” single represent a pretty solid introduction to C.C. Voltage for newcomers; the single gives enough that listeners feel as though they know what to expect from the singer on future releases, and those who are won over will definitely be on the lookout for more. Here’s hoping that a more substantial offering will be available from Voltage soon. [Bill Adams]
C.C. Voltage’s Berliner Pilsner 7” is out now. Buy it here on bandcamp.