Jim Santo's Demo Universe

Choo Choo La Rouge - Wall To Wall

Grand, gorgeous and gritty, Choo Choo La Rouge's six-song debut is a tossed salad of Blonde On Blonde, Astral Weeks and Pink Flag. Wait a minute, I'm describing the Velvet Underground. Ah, no. The Choo Choos ain't so dark nor desperate. Matter of fact, they seem rather happy, albeit hardly well-adjusted. This all-too-brief slab o' plastic certainly made me smile and reach for my rock encyclopedia. Critics (obviously myself included) are having a hard time pegging the Choo Choo La Rue sound; in its brief existence, Wall To Wall has been compared to more bands than it has songs. This is both a plus (they've got deep roots) and a minus (their roots are showing). But in the end it's better to inspire more rock dreams than less, so hats off to CCLR for a promising debut. More please!

CD received November 21, 2001