Happy Waitress by Grilled Cheese is a straightforward rock album that feels undeniable American. The three band members consisting of Joe Bavolar (guitar/vocals), Joe Conti (drums/vocals) and Eric Holsten (bass/vocals) play music that contains elements of bands like Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, John Mellencamp and even Bruce Springsteen when he plays with the E Street band.
Happy Waitress is far from the most innovative album you will hear in 2015 but it does contain well-written songs, which feel like a throwback to classic American rock. Even the themes and lyrics feel reminiscent of the topics that bands used to sing about.
The album opens with “London Town.” On the verse the rhythm section creates the foundation while Bavolar strategically strums his distorted electric guitar. The song is predictable yet catchy. It’s a simple, fun song that is perfect for playing at summer outdoor BBQ’s or blasting out of your car.
I noticed on “Hey!” that the vocalist has a delivery similar to Lou Reed at times. It almost felt intentional but nonetheless sounded good and worked well with the music. They continue with songs that have a retro feel. “Just Us” is arguably the highlight. It’s just a well-crafted song and merges the classic American style with garage rock which ironically is also going through a retro phase.
The topic of California girls being the best in the world is nothing new. The Beach Boys made it popular and Van Halen reinforced it. “Cali Girls” has the same sentiment. The vocalist sings, “Yes I’m a California Girl I got the prettiest smile in the world.” I enjoyed the slight funky job on “Miss Monroe” while the closer “Shocked Me Dead” contains a great bass line you won’t want to miss.
From an aesthetic standpoint Happy Waitress isn’t perfect. Some songs were noticeably louder than others and the overall mix was shy of something you would hear from a professional studio. The next logical step for Grilled Cheese would be to try and get that bump in production so it’s more competitive with the big boys. Overall, the band rocks hard and seem genuine with their intention. I'm looking forward to hearing more from the band Recommended.
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