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My Son The Bum - 2014 Follow Me, Like Me

ARTIST: My Son The Bum
ALBUM: Follow Me, Like Me
LABEL: Wig City Records
SERIAL: Free download
YEAR: 2014


LINEUP: Brian Kroll - guitars * Mike Wuerth - vocals * John O'Reilly - drums * Bob Stander - bass * Steven Wright-Mark - Keyboards

TRACK LISTING: 01 Follow Me, Like Me * 02 Death By Texting * 03 Everyday Is Halloween (In My World) * 04 Flight Deck For Christmas * 05 Syringes * 06 Edge Avenue * 07 Killing Time Before Time Kills Me * 08 Codependent On My Phone * 09 YouTube University



My Son The Bum can be easily described as a vehicle for the songwriting abilities and the often original, humorous, and indeed very thoughtful lyrics of Brian Kroll. 'Follow Me, Like Me' is the group's sixth release overall in a discography that, not counting two previous solo efforts from the mastermind himself Mr.Kroll, counts one EP and five full lengths. Definitely an atypical or non-typical character in the world of rock'n'roll music, Mr. Kroll is a graduate in philosophy at Adelphi University (New York) who's never been afraid or either ashamed of working the regular day job in order to pay off booked studio hours in order to focus on the love of his life as far as art is concerned: music. As much as an `underground' figure as he may appear, Brian has nevertheless managed, throughout the years, to work with some very well known musicians both inside and outside the New York area (he is based in Long Island) such as: Greg Smith (Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow, Ted Nugent) and John O'Reilly (Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow, Trans Siberian Orchestra, Blue Oyster Cult), thus enhancing his reputation as an independent musician and reaching out to a wider audience.

The Songs
A self confessed lover of 'all things vintage' as far as music is concerned, Kroll has an ample spectrum of influences that range from classic rock to the finest artists in both soul and RnB. From the glory days of yore, passing through both classical and experimental music. With such a big variety of interests, one might argue, the final product is most likely guaranteed to be a pastiche of genres with very little coherence. But this is not the case with 'Follow Me, Like Me'. There's a strong influence of 60's music in all of the 9 songs this album consists of. And it is indeed very `vintage' (notice the virtually omnipresent Hammond organ) in its undisputable brevity too, clocking at merely half an hour of listening experience. But still make no mistake, this is quality stuff. From the quirky opener, 'Follow Me, Like Me' strongly relying on a refrain that will hypnotize you - making you think that the 60's might be chronologically over, but not so musically, to the conclusive 'YouTube University'. It's another humorous and efficacious lampoon on an internet dominated society that leaves very little to freedom of expression of the inner self, and is way too often characterized by 'acting in public' and hypocrisy ('I don't wanna go to school/I wanna go to YouTube University/where I don't have to pay/and I can take what I want for free'). We go through 'Death By Texting' and the very Hoodoo Gurus-inspired 'Codependent On My Phone' (the 'man vs. smartphone/cellular phone' relationship, or slavery, seems to be a recurrent feature in Brian Kroll's unconscious). The album, despite its aforementioned brevity that could somehow put off some listeners, is a winner from start to finish. And it sure guarantees some variety as well, as aptly shown by songs such as 'Edge Avenue', by far the heaviest track on offer here, with a monster riff (Brian's concise yet extremely tasty guitar playing is excellent throughout the entire record) very reminiscent of the best Black Sabbath (Ozzy era) or Kyuss, or the funky 'Killing Time Before Time Kills Me', the latter a re-recording of a song previously released on Brian's second album, if memory serves me right.

In Summary
If you think that today's music scene is constantly drying up each and every day that goes by (believe when I say, you're right for saying or even thinking that!) and it is -most importantly- struggling for originality, you'll probably find a somehow refreshing surprise in 'Follow Me, Like Me'. I can clearly perceive how much love and passion for music these five have managed to translate into aural pleasure. It might not be the case with many of you out there, but bear in mind you can still go to My Son The Bum's official website and first download legally, and for free, the whole album to check out whether it's worth your money or not. After all, in Brian Kroll's own words 'I want the people to listen and have fun, music is and in a way should always first and foremost be a fun experience, if it had been all about the money, I would have stopped doing what I am still doing and enjoy doing a long, long time ago!' Enough said! PS: 'Follow Me, Like Me' is available for purchase at both or To check out what's new in the world of the My Son The Bum, including some nice animated videos, go to their website, listed above. [word count 779]

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