Fun Times Rock & Roll Fueled, Gospel Tinged Americana
“Great American Breakdown” by Oklahoman Jared Deck, from his newest album, Bully Pulpit, is the song we’ve been waiting for. Cheeky, relevant, danceable. High-heeled sneakers for this politically dysfunctional generation. The best protest songs transcend their message to the point where people can sing along twenty years later, not caring what the song was really about. With a riff straight out of T-Rex (the most danceable of the glam rock bands) and some gospel-fueled shouting, this song rips and tears it up for a full three minutes before slamming the door shut with a satisfying clang.
Songs over, you can go home now, only Jared Deck and his band ain’t done yet, they still have more to say. The rest of this album is a mixture of jump and jive gospel, smooth country, a smattering of Randy Newman on speed, and even some Willy Deville.
Deck is a farm-raised Oklahoma country boy with blue collar roots who ran for local election, (lost) played piano in a gospel church, and released his first album to much acclaim. He has a powerful voice that goes from cranked up Fender Bassman to comfortable country crooning with ease, with the gospel rockers giving him a chance to hoot and holler, where to me he seems more in his element. The country songs are fine, but the rockers have so much character and burn so hot that pretty much anything next to them pales in comparison.
We do get a sad tear-jerker of a tale with “Make Your Mama Proud,” and some well-wrought anguish in “Tulsa Sound,” but my ears keep going back to the amped up gospel rockers, “There’s a Leak in This Old Building” and “Sometimes I Miss Being Lonely” both being vocal tours de force which must be fun for him and his band to pull off live — It ain’t showing off if you can pull it off!
“Money Back” utilizes familiar tropes and moves fast like a downhill train, and “I Don’t Know What You Come To Do” is that same train about to derail but Deck and his band are having a blast in the process knowing that to rock, is living life to the fullest.
Words courtesy the Legendary Roy Peak
Released UK September 13th 2019
Released USA January 2019