Album Reviews

Steve Conte

International Cover-Up

Artist:     Steve Conte

Album:     International Cover Up

Label:     Self-Released

Release Date:     06/09/2016

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When it comes to rock and roll anthems, Steve Conte knows how to pick them and then how to sing them. The eight tracks on his latest CD run the gamut from high-octane ravers “I Don’t Want to Grow Up” and “Somebody’s Gonna Get Their Head Kicked in Tonight” to moody ballads “Working Class Hero” and “Play With Fire,” covering artists from John Lennon and the Rolling Stones to Willie DeVille and Tom Waits. Each one is delivered with Conte’s usual high energy and tough punk attitude.

Half of the songs were written by Brits, but the international title refers more to the band.  Conte is backed by the European version of his band The Crazy Truth — Jeroen Polderman on drums and Jozz Verheijen on bass — and all but two tracks were recorded in the Netherlands, Conte’s second home. Lennon’s biting and bitter ode to the working man and the Stones’ ominous warning to a girl looking to walk on the wild side are solo acoustic performances captured in New York City studios, the latter in a single take.

One of Conte’s gifts is his ability to fully and authentically inhabit a song. When he growls out DeVille’s “Venus of Avenue D” you can feel his lust for “the queen of my block.” And while he slows the tempo of Eddie Cochran’s classic “Summertime Blues,” he loses none of its teenage angst.

– Kay Cordtz

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