BY LEE ZIMMERMAN
It ought to come as no surprise to find Tim Easton changing his tune… again. After varying his tack from his early singer/songwriter fare via 2007’s Porcupine, and subsequently and simultaneously releasing a pair of albums in tandem two years ago – Beat the Band and Since 1966 — Easton’s shown his willingness to veer off into unexpected tangents and shatter preconceived perceptions whenever the mood and/or muse strike him.
So while an entire album based on early rock ‘n’ roll designs may seem an unlikely departure, here again it’s only Easton exercising his options and taking on another challenge. Despite an occasional ominous note — the sneer and snarl he applies to “Don’t Lie” or the stern warning that accompanies “They Will Bury You” – the otherwise innocent Not Cool is, for the most part, a retro homage to an earlier era, one where sock hops, rocking rhythms and teen idols offered incentive to get in the groove. “They’re going to make you feel like it’s 1962,” Easton promises while bopping to the beat of “Little Doggie (1962).” Its title to the contrary, Not Cool finds Easton and his ensemble more than willing to take on that task.
DOWNLOAD: “Don’t Lie,” “Little Doggie”