(Emperor Penguin, 2002)
Gasoline comes with a track listing and instructions to play it "green side down" on the press release. My first thought was why the CD itself came with no such instruction and how a casual listener would manage without proper forewarning.
I know we are expected to judge any album on the content, not packaging, but sometimes we need a little assistance. Robert Harrison Dressing composed all the songs, sings them and plays various instruments, according to the minute liner notes. It is a great pity that there is not some more background on him or Marblemouth provided.
In general, the tracks are quite good and they are performed very well. I particularly liked "Treading Water" with its multi-tracking of voice. Dressing sounds like an early Bob Dylan, which is well-suited to the material. "Crummy Mondays" has a rather interesting production. I find that when Dressing pares his production down, I enjoy the material more. Too often, over-production drowns out the lyrics.
He gives us two versions of a pair of tracks: "100 reasons" has a reprise with "Campfire Twang" and "Cellophane Angel" gets "Alley Cat." Both experiments are interesting, especially the latter, which gives a totally new take on the basic song.
Some of these songs show great promise and, given proper airplay or a cover by another artist, could make it big.