Don’t Fade Away - Andy Shernoff (self released)
Whatever happened to Andy Shernoff? He might have turned his back on his old band but the Dictators’ main songwriter is alive and well enough to be charting his own solo musical course these days. This is his debut solo EP from 2012 and there’s a lot to like about it.
“Let’s Get The Band Together” gets the show on the road - emphatically. It’s a re-arrangement of a song by his mate Jesse Bates and it’s tempting to say that it might be dripping in irony in light of Andy’s refusal to re-convene with his ‘Tators comrades. It’s a fine anthem and a piece of raunch that might have walked onto “D.F.F.D.” with clever lyrics (no shock there.) The clip appears at the bottom of this review.
“Laugh And Walk Away” is a stunning and classy piece of Shernoff pop with none of his old band’s bombast or sass. Andy’s backing band here (and elsewhere on the record) are Missouri’s The Skeletons; they and Shernoff sound like a match made in, er, St Louis. An accomplished vocal is the icing on this cake.
“Hey Boys” was a Dictators “Manifest Destiny” tune that was co-written with future Del Lord Scott Kempner. This take is a country version - Shernoff himself says it’s a nod to the Everly Brothers - that’s a lot more playful than the original. Score an extra half-point for the surprise element. I’s a thumbs up from this quarter.
The closer “Don’t Fade Away” is a thoughtful ode to Andy’s late mother that stands apart from the rest of the EP. Pop hook intact, this one runs deep - and Shernoff and band do it justice. Remember, folks, Alzheimer’s sucks.
The EP comes with a money-back guarantee. I can’t see many refunds eventuating.