Jump to Content

Welcome! You’re browsing the No Depression Archives

No Depression has been the foremost journalistic authority on roots music for well over a decade, publishing 75 issues from 1995 to 2008. No Depression ceased publishing magazines in 2008 and took to the web. We have made the contents of those issues accessible online via this extensive archive and also feature a robust community website with blogs, photos, videos, music, news, discussion and more.

Close This

Waxed - Record Review from Issue #35 Sept-Oct 2001

Liquor Giants

Up With People (Elastic / BMG Australia)

The word “melodic,” sullied by so many tuneless noise bands, needs to be reclaimed for the careful practitioners who really deserve it — starting with the Liquor Giants.

Ward Dotson’s ongoing outlet for pure power-pop balances lyrical snarl and romantic disappointment, delicate ’60s British psychedelia and chunky arena rock, all cohering in shimmering arrangements. The Liquor Giants’ sixth album (counting a covers set) never misfires: It’s across-the-board accessible. “Fifth Wheel Time” sounds like music for a radio or TV ad targeting ’60s California youth culture. “Mach Show” layers Big Star rock ‘n’ roll abandon with Beach Boys harmonies and Dotson’s best Joe Walsh impression, also employed on the clique-bashing “All Of The Assholes”.

Following his varied resume as guitarist in the Gun Club (postmodern L.A. swamp blues) and leader of the Pontiac Brothers (like the Rolling Stones, if they had actual feelings), Dotson’s third cult band in his career will, sadly, likely remain so. The band’s time on Matador in the U.S. failed to overrun the indie world, so the cult today seems to be centered among a diehard cabal of critics, musos and Australians.

Three decades of direct influences come to a head in Dotson’s music: Beatles, Kinks, Brian Wilson, Badfinger, XTC, Replacements, Raspberries even — but I doubt Eric Carmen would be the one singing, “Industry hookers/are following orders.”

Enjoy the ND archives? Consider making a donation with PayPal or send a check to:
No Depression, 460 Bush St., San Francisco, CA 94108


Did you enjoy this article? Start a discussion about it, or find out what others are saying in the No Depression Community forum.

Join the Discussion »

Find out what's going on in roots music. Share concert photos and videos, learn about new artists, blog about the music you love.

Join the No Depression Community »

Originally Featured in Issue #35 Sept-Oct 2001

Buy our history before it’s gone!

Each issue is artfully designed and packed full of great photos that you don‘t get online. Visit the No Depression store to own a piece of history.

Visit the No Depression Store »

From the Blogs

Shop Amazon by clicking through this logo to support NoDepression.com. We get a percentage of every purchase you make!

Subscribe To the No Depression Newsletter

Subscribe to the No Depression Newsletter