Music News

The Indulgers

Many performers consider the term "bar band" to be pejorative, believing it implies that folks will enjoy a certain outfit's music only if they're properly lubricated. Still, it's a plain fact that the songs of some combos are more effective in a raucous social setting than they are on plastic -- and as evidenced by High Road to Heaven, the Indulgers may be such a group.

Led by the irrepressible Damien McCarron, the Indulgers are among the metro area's hardest-working, most likable live acts, capable of bringing out the Irish in even the most leprechaun-phobic listeners. Moreover, the production of Heaven, their fourth disc, is thoroughly professional, and the playing of multi-instrumentalist Mike Nile and his cohorts is consistently skilled. But while the material is generally solid, it's also a touch generic, melding familiar Celtic influences and middle-of-the-road rock in a manner that, on "Still Fine" and elsewhere, feels rather secondhand. McCarron's throaty vocals help on tracks such as "Hard Back Dollar," which calls to mind a jauntier-than-usual Warren Zevon, and none of the tracks is anything less than pleasant. Odds are good, though, that all of them would sound better in a noisy pub reeking of love, lager and heartbreak. (See www.shamrocker.com.)

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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