Picks and Pans Review: Rocket

updated 07/29/1996 at 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 07/29/1996 01:00AM

Primitive Radio Gods

The Gods—actually a one-man band by the name of Chris O'Connor—launched a hit on the alternative charts this summer with "Standing Outside a Broken Phone Booth with Money in My Hand," from The Cable Guy soundtrack. The melancholic but deeply infectious "Standing Outside" is a "Walk on the Wild Side" for the dispirited Prozac Nation, aided by a been-down-before vocal sample from B.B. King. In the studio, O'Connor, who was an air-traffic controller near San Diego, shows he can juggle many tasks at once, even if he can't sustain an album's worth of material as dead-on as the single. He peels off edgy, buzzing guitar chords and mixes sounds as deftly as a sonic master chef but needs to get to a song's heart—the hook—more quickly. There's enough promise here, though, to say O'Connor's career is cleared for takeoff. (Ergo/Columbia)

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