At the close of the somnambulent '70s, pop music experienced a brief yet energetic rejuvenation. Garish New Wave groups and the wacky punks brought a sense of imagination and tacky style to the music. On the basis of the new performers who are succeeding them, however, we could be on the threshold of the irksome '80s.
Singer-guitarist Jack Greene is a case in point. His show last night at the Cellar Door was a crashing display of loud, lackluster rock riffing. Cliched power chords, monotonous beats and melody-less songs combined to produce a sound that rock 'n' rolled over and played dead.
Greene has the vocal range of an inveterate mumbler. While much of his material doesn't require more than that, his voice lacks any verve or punch which could liven things up. He jumps and wiggles about with a kind of studied excitement, yet there is no musical substance to back up the antics. This is most evident on his version of "Let's Spend the Night Together," in which he reduced the Rolling Stones' classic to an exercise in heavy metal bombast.
All hope is not gone for the new decade. Somewhere out there, no doubt, are musicians who have daring ideas to express and the style to put them over. Regrettably, Jack Greene does not appear to be one of them.