Stage Door Guy – Wroclaw

Album Review | Self Release | Review by Allan Wilkinson

Essentially, a dozen expressive statements performed by guitarist CJ Williams and actor and writer Adam Brody, each vying for the title of crown prince of sneer.  If there’s a determined sneer in the vocal delivery, then this is matched measure for measure by Williams’ guitar.  It may be a long way between Manchester and New Orleans, yet Stage Door Guy manage to bridge the chasm with aplomb, a little like Dr John Cooper Clarke meets, well, Dr John I suppose.  Heavy on the ‘twang’ the songs pivot between the Syd Barrett-like playfulness of “Guy That Stole My Bike”, the Punk sensibility and attitude of “Stop Your Whining”, albeit in a “We Can’t Start the Fire” kind of way, and the Chicago Blues approach to “Karen’s Sexless Marriage”. 

If “Cartoon Man” appears to be a strange meeting between Pete Shelley, Chet Atkins and Steve Bell, then “Amazing Grace” takes Gospel to another level altogether and has probably never been heard quite like this before; it’s Gospel ala Billy Bragg circa the Miner’s Strike.  Distance isn’t the only ground covered on Wroclaw, as the styles mingle and match throughout, with one or two reference points, including Freddie Krueger, Dead or Alive and Joy Division, providing something for everybody and something for nobody all at the same time.