Here It Comes

Lee Rude

Prudent Records, 2000

REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen


I think I've heard the future of pop rock -- and its name is Lee Rude.

Normally, you'd think I wouldn't jump at the chance to review a band with such a name -- the context brings back memories of the time I mistakenly gave The Jerky Boys a chance. (Hoo boy, now there's the kind of mistake that follows you around like gum on your shoe.) But make no similar mistake with this group; singer/songwriter Lee Zukor and crew are serious about their craft, and their disc Here It Comes shows off the skills and maturity normally heard only on a major-label release, not on an independent disc.

Zukor proves himself to be an astute observer of modern life, love and loss throughout the course of these 12 songs. Even by taking a tongue-in-cheek look at his own job on "Song Of Nothing New," Zukor and his bandmates prove that wonderful thngs can even come out of nothing or uncertainty. This particular track is less of a complaint about the state of pop rock, but more of a whimsical slap at songwriting wanna-bes who do nothing but complain about the state of music while doing nothing themselves to change it. (And, no, I'm not indicting rock music critics like myself, nor do I think Zukor is doing this.)my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

There is much talk of love throughout Here It Comes, though it's not always of a romantic love that is verbalized. Take "Highway 65," for example. Anyone who has watched a loved one slowly waste away before their eyes will undoubtedly find this song hard to bear, as the narrator remembers someone they once knew and wishes they could replace the past: "You no longer stand and barely move your hands / Less stubborn men would never last so long / My throat is dry from all the stupid things I said / I never know what to say in times like these". Ka-pow.

Yet there are plenty of lighter moments of love throughout Here It Comes, from the promise of support even in times of trouble ("Count On Me"), the reassurances of what makes a person special to another ("That's Why," a duet with Lori Wray) and even the fear of loving someone too much ("Fearless"), Zukor and his bandmates are able to put into words what many people have trouble verbalizing - and that's no small gift.

Yet there are moments of loss scattered throughout this disc, from the hells brought on by one's own personal demons ("Unlucky") to the realization that one you love is better without you in their life ("5 AM"). A roller-coaster of emotions? Perhaps- - but Lee Rude is the kind of band that can pull off these switches effortlessly, and make them sound like they were intentional all along.

Here It Comes is not the kind of disc you'd normally search for in the bins of Best Buy - but once you've heard this disc even once, you'll wonder how you ever lived without the beautiful music held within. Whoever would think that something with the surname of "rude" would be so pleasant? Lee Rude is a band that demands to be heard. All you have to do is open the door -- and I'm hoping someone opens the right door for these guys... now.

Rating: A

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2000 Christopher Thelen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Prudent Records, and is used for informational purposes only.