Music News

Left Alone

Yeah, yeah, we all know that everyone can't be an original. Still, understanding this truism doesn't make blatantly imitative acts like Wilmington, California's Left Alone any more admirable. The Elvis Cortez-led band, which shares tonight's bill with the Black Rose Phantoms, has been around since 1996 — long enough to have developed something akin to a personal style. Nevertheless, 2006's Dead American Radio, on the Hellcat Records imprint, sports nary a fresh moment, with every tune drawing directly from punk and ska precursors — even secondhand ones like Rancid, whose Tim Armstrong guests on "City to City." Granted, the performances are consistently energetic, albeit in a wholly predictable way, and tunes such as "The Sinner," "Drunk Again" and "New York City" would no doubt sound adequate under the influence of, say, a couple twelve-packs of Old Milwaukee. But if these guys ever have a new idea, it'll soon feel Left Alone.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts