[Sidebar] The Worcester Phoenix
May 28 - June 4, 1999

[Music Reviews]

| reviews & features | clubs by night | bands in town | club directory |
| rock/pop | jazz | country | karaoke | pop concerts | classical concerts | hot links |

*** 10,000 Maniacs


(Bar None)

10,000 Maniacs lost most of their audience around the time they lost singer Natalie Merchant, but they haven't changed all that much. The instrumental members (including guitarist/writer John Lombardo) are back aboard, and the absence of star producer Peter Asher means that their sound has returned to its rustic, acoustic roots. (Robert Buck's instrumental trademark -- playing a distorted guitar as if it were a mandolin, and vice versa -- is also intact.) New frontwoman Mary Ramsey is a more versatile, more appealing singer than Merchant: she can do Merchant's trademark deep/haunted tone, but she also gives the band a warmth they've seldom had before. The problem here is the same one from the old days: inconsistent songwriting. When 10,000 Maniacs are good, they're gorgeous; when they trip up, they're merely pleasant.

-- Brett Milano
[Music Footer]

| home page | what's new | search | about the phoenix | feedback |
Copyright © 1999 The Phoenix Media/Communications Group. All rights reserved.