Picks and Pans Review: Rumble

updated 12/19/1988 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 12/19/1988 AT 01:00 AM EST

Tommy Conwell and the Young Rumblers

This debut is more of a compliment to the work of another Philly rock band, the Hooters, than it is a singular, distinctive statement of its own. True, Conwell has a passionate voice and has demonstrated a more than acceptable working vocabulary of guitar riffs. But it's more than just the contribution of Hooters Rob Hyman and Eric Bazilian as songwriters (on Haifa Heart) that might saddle the Young Rumblers with the tag of being clones. Con-well's vocal inflections and lead guitar are awfully Hooteresque too. Conwell, who oddly lists Charlie Parker as one of his influences, does take one giant step for individualism with the hit single I'm Not Your Man, and he delivers on the Bo Diddley-inspired Tell Me What You Want Me to Hear, but there is little in between to differentiate him and the Rumblers from the prolific crop of roots-rock bands struggling for that one big break. While Conwell does occasionally summon up a growl from his throat a la George Thorogood, that's more often tedious than distinctive. Having acknowledged their affiliation with their fellow Philadelphians to everyone's satisfaction, Conwell and his band need to strike out in search of some different, more promising musical territory. (Columbia)

From Our Partners