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The Quick and Easy Boys | Make It Easy

album review by John Powell

The Quick and Easy Boys | Make It Easy

Jimmy, Sean, and Mike shouldn’t be able to make this much noise, but as The Quick and Easy Boys, they heave it on heavy for Make it Easy, the band’s third studio release. Their hurried blend of country, folk, and soul is dyed in greasy rock n’ roll.

Like Rush or Zeppelin, the idea is this: everyone play your best all the time. Play loud and play hard. It worked for those guys and it certainly works for TQAEB.

Make it Easy is definitely deliberately condensed rock n’ roll. While other influences are in there, these 10 songs rarely break four minutes. They walk in the wake of Credence Clearwater Revival and the like, but they have the energy of The Vines or The Strokes. Matched with hooks and wit, this trio hits a homerun.

The opener, “Hey Hey Hey”, kind of makes this clear. The gritty guitar and dual vocals fill the speakers with crunch. The title of the song alone is enough to let you know what we’re dealing with. It doesn’t even matter what they’re singing about because it’s done with such gusto.

“Without You” needs two chords to suck you in. With an almost Moe. vocal sensibility, the falsetto sexiness of it all is even more fun. Funky, certainly, but straight electricity, too. In the same vein, “Learn to Love the Sunrise” is straight-up and sincere. “You don’t need no extinguisher/ to put out what’s already gone,” Sean sings. “Don’t run from me/ it’s not a dream.” Okay, sure. We’re with ya.

“Dog On its Rein” is pure gold, like Hot Hot Heat or All American Rejects. Then there’s “Let Me Get Down”, which humps and hops over an infectious melody. At the end there’s “Down to Hell”, reverting to garage, open chord fuzz.

The album isn’t too catchy, though. They don’t have many grab-you choruses. They were clearly fixated on the other elements of a great song, which is enough. Make it Easy is both fun and honest. It’s not joking or trite. It’s real, and that’s what makes it stick. If you like great musicians doing good music, try this album on and see just how well this Portland trio can fit.

Bottom line: A really good rock n’ roll album with little filler and mostly spot-on songwriting.


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