Local Wire

Ringo Jones Gang: The Vulture City Bank Robbery

Band: Ringo Jones Gang/Band, whichever one floats your boat.

Title: The Vulture City Bank Robbery

Basics: It appears I need to do a better job ascertaining the all important fact of You Asked For It -- if a band is actually from Phoenix/Arizona. This week's subjects, Ringo Jones Gang, is actually based out of San Diego. Eh, close enough. I've done a few bands from Tucson, so what's the harm? Their album was sent to the New Times' office, I picked it up, listened to it and then realized they weren't from Arizona. The egg is completely on my face, but I shall soldier on.

Furthermore, this Wild West nonsense that Ringo Jones Gang shoves down our throats makes them honorary members of the hordes of other Arizona bands that spend all their time being fascinated by outlaws and saloons and very little time writing creative lyrics. Just because Billy The Kid and Wyatt Earp were badasses centuries ago doesn't mean your album is going to be any good if you don't take the goddamn time to construct a decent song.

Best Song: "Miss Holly Rain" only mentions the name Ringo Jones once, so it's infinitely less annoying that the other songs that namedrop Ringo Jones constantly, for whatever lame, concept album reasons. It's a jangly, light little tune about a young lady from Virginia that apparently has caught the outlaw Ring Jones' eyes and can change his evil ways. It's a song about the two -- Ringo Jones and Holly Rain -- and not about some fucking saloon or bank robbery, so it's plenty easy on the ears and especially the sanity, because this album will test yours quite a bit throughout its 11 wild west-twinged songs.

Worst Song: I listened to the fourth song on the album without knowing its name due the the CD's lack of an entry on Gracenote, so when I came to find out the song was actually named "Hopefully No Ones [sic] Gonna Get Killed" after hearing that line over and over in the song, I simply gave up. I won't harp on the song's grammatical error, but the song is plenty repetitive and pretty much a throwaway song. The name Ringo Jones is mentioned throughout the entirety of the song. Did I mention it is actually called "Hopefully No Ones Gonna Get Killed?" After listening to the song, I hoped everyone was gonna get killed. They weren't.

Suggestions: Maybe I could listen to a band that's from Arizona next time around. That being said, when I glanced at the cover and could blatantly see that this was some wild west, outlaw-themed album, I stupidly assumed the band was from Arizona. My mistake -- it seems crappy rock/country albums about cowboys and outlaws can exist outside of the state of Arizona. Also, never take a picture like this one if you want people to take your band seriously. Was that taken before or after you rode Space Mountain?

Grade: C-

If you're a musician from the Phoenix metro area and would like to have your music reviewed in You Asked For It (our first-come, first-served and often harsh record review column) please send it in an envelope marked "YAFI" to:

Michael Lopez
You Asked For It
c/o Phoenix New Times
1201 E. Jefferson Street Phoenix , AZ 85032

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Michael Lopez