Stephanie Zacharek
March 06, 1992 AT 05:00 AM EST

Vinyl

type
TV Show
Current Status
In Season
seasons
1
run date
02/14/16
performer
Bobby Cannavale, Olivia Wilde, Ray Romano
broadcaster
HBO
genre
Drama, Music

We gave it an A-

On its fourth album, this Wayne, N.J., band sets itself apart from countless other acts whose sensibilities have been shaped by ’60s rock. If Dramarama shows a marked affection for certain campy effects (a mind-expanding guitar wah here and there, for example), it never puts scene making ahead of craftsmanship. Even as the band wraps you in a vibrating cocoon of sound in Vinyl, you hear how carefully all the parts (probing, elegant phrases from the lead guitarist, known as Mr. E; gutsy piano lines from guest Benmont Tench) have been blended. And if Dramarama sometimes hits familiar grooves (their fondness for ’60s white-boy R&B shines through in a solid cover of the Jagger/Richards ”Memo From Turner”), they know we can’t go home again. In ”Classic Rot,” a bitter indictment of classic-rock radio, a bouncy refrain dissolves into a fiddle’s piercing caterwaul: It could be the sound of a desperate listener frantically spinning the radio dial in search of anything, anything made after 1975 — and it shows an awareness that sure doesn’t come from acid tabs. A-

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