Gutterboy (1992)


Mercury, 1992

REVIEW BY: Pete Crigler


Before he was an acclaimed novelist and Hollywood director, Dito Montiel led the band Gutterboy. Signed by Geffen in the late ‘80s, the band was put together with various recruits from NYC hardcore bands. Gutterboy was a good-looking macho sort of group that looked like they belonged on the runway and not onstage. Consequently, the pretty boy schtick didn’t sell and the guys were dumped. Several members left, but the band somehow scored another major label deal and went to work on their second self-titled album. By this time, they had added a female member on acoustic guitar and vocals and had salvaged several songs from their departed members in order to have enough material.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

The intro to “She Gone” contains sax and a folk sort of feel, with Dito singing in a Lou Reed tone. The song is interesting, but it feels like the band is trying way too hard to impress and be cool and pop-sounding in a Nirvana and Pearl Jam world. This track might have worked on ‘80s pop radio, but by 1992, it was laughable and had no place in the music landscape at all.

Dito takes on an almost Springsteen vibe on “Every Other Night,” a cut that wouldn’t have been out of place on one of his ‘80s records. Again, it just doesn’t work and leaves a reviewer wondering if the band was going through some sort of musical crisis trying to find the right sound that would make them money and get them on the radio. Clearly, the band tried too hard and didn’t think about trying to make something timeless and natural. Instead, they just ripped a lot of other artists off and ended up with a record that was stuck in a late ‘80s timeframe with sax, modest punk rock, and annoying female vocals.

A few tracks like “Kiss Me” and “Close By” actually work a bit and would’ve been better suited if Dito had ditched the band and recorded a solo acoustic record. Then these songs might’ve had some real life to them and would still work twenty-five years later. Only two cuts here actually still work: “Let’s Get Lost” comes across as a yearning folk song that still holds up except for the lame sax solo that tries to ruin things, while “Bus Stations And Train Yards” is a song that is comparable to the work of Tim Barry or Brian Fallon. So kudos to the band for actually making something that sounds timeless and still works.

Ultimately, the sound of this record fell on deaf ears and Gutterboy quickly disbanded for good. At least this record had two really good tracks that still have stood through time and make this release not completely useless.

Rating: D+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



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