Reviewed by Harry Kaplan
Right in my wheelhouse. Irreverent rock and roll with a sturdy foundation of power pop. Not too shabby for just three fellas. That’s a lot of sound from three peeps. I was, and still am, totally obsessed with power trios. The good ones, of course. I put Jeremy Porter & The Tucos in that category. All of the guys in the band sing and play at the same time. I have trouble doing two things simultaneously so when I see folks do it well, it really impresses me. Let me introduce you to the boys in the band. We got: Jeremy Porter on guitars, vocals, organ, piano, and harmonica; Gabriel Doman on drums, percussion, and vocals; and, Patrick O’Harris on bass and vocals. All of the guys are expert multitaskers.
I hear a lot of influences on Don’t Worry, It’s Not Contagious. Heavy helpings of Cheap Trick, The Replacements, Big Star, and even Wilco. These guys definitely leaned a lot from their elders and contemporaries. That emulsion is the sauce that JP & The Tucos uses to make the song foundation. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention The Minutemen as an influence as well. Patrick O’Harris definitely got a couple of nuggets out of Mike Watt’s playbook.
I originally thought the band’s name came from the character Tuco Salamanca from Breaking Bad. That is not the case. After reading the band’s Wikipedia page, I discovered that the band’s name is based on the character Tuco Ramirez in The Good, The Bad & The Ugly. Either way, the name is badass.
It’s time to take a dive into the music. no better place to begin than the beginning. Walk Of Shame (Track 1) is a country blend with hints of The Replacements, Lemonheads, and perhaps a dash of Old 97s. This song has amazing swagger, but also a very powerful aura about it. Great blending of heavy and light. This song has great pop sensibilities.
Keeping with The Replacements theme, Patty’s Not Impressed (Track 9) sounds like it could have walked right out of Paul Westerberg’s library. I, for one, am extremely happy that there are bands like Jeremy Porter & The Tucos making real music based on the founders of post punk. This guy Patty is tough to please. But he sure sounds like a loveable guy in a very rugged and grouchy old man cocoon.
I have mentioned a few times before that feedback is my favorite instrument. So you can only imagine my glee when I heard Don’t Worry, It’s Not Contagious (Track 3) which starts off with a ten second feedback blast that is simply beautiful. It fits perfectly with the rest of the music. It really is another instrument and is used correctly to add maximum effect.
This album bridges the gap between hard driving, loud “in your face” rock and roll and country music. This space is my sweet spot. It just sounds so pleasing to the ears how can any reasonable music fan resist?