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Rockin' Our Turntable: Archie Powell & The Exports

By Tankboy in Arts & Entertainment on Apr 27, 2012 7:00PM

2012_04_archie_powell_exports.jpg Now, Bruce Springsteen is frequently touted as writing the blue collar rock of the working man, and that may be so, but Springsteen was never quite the "average working man." He's been in bands since he was a teen and had a record deal in his early twenties. If anything the man is the epitome of the artist who can make poetry out of every day travails he might not have necessarily suffered through himself.

Well, so can Archie Powell & The Exports. Only they turn the whole thing on its head to create a big ol' party out of it. Powell likes slinging out huge strings of lyrics and barely a syllable stays in a single melodic plane before sliding up or down in a manner that makes him feel like confidant and ringmaster. It's a neat little trick. And behind him The Exports—who indeed have separate last names but have adopted the uniform Export surname when banded together—create a rollicking racket that sounds like they're crashing into each other but is in fact a racket constructed with great care and forethought, impacting upon one's ears with maximum effect.

The band's sophomore effort Great Ideas In Action—available tonight at the band's record release show at Subterranean—takes the promise of their debut, douses it in gasoline and bourbon and then gleefully lights a match to ignite pandemonium. This is party music. This is the cry of the oppressed sluiced by equal parts of despair, infectious humor and a triumphant cry of "whatever!" This is the kind of album where keyboards aren't synths but great tumbling rolls of pipe organs played in the cathedral of the stained sleeve. There's dirt crumbling out from fingernails and it's interfering with the pick-ups on the guitars and the basses and while Powell's tongue is at times so firmly in cheek it might pop out the other side you still get the feeling that his molars are grinding said tongue to bits at the same time.

This is the album that will hold the door politely for you and then boot you in the ass as you pass through ... and then buy you a beer to make up for it.

Archie Powell & The Exports play their album release party tonight, April 27, at Subterranean, 2011 W North, 9 p.m., $10, 17+