Fountain of Youth

Oct 13, 2004 at 12:00 am

While Tommy Rivers has been an Atlanta scene mainstay since the early ’80s when he shared a band with future Georgia Satellite Rick Richards, in terms of national exposure he’s remained doggedly — criminally — under the radar. Since forming the Raw Ramps a couple of years ago, however, his profile has slowly but steadily risen. Fountain Of Youth won’t hurt that profile one bit, thanks to contributions from well-known faces such as Richards and Brendan O’Brien. Aswagger with rooster-haired riffs and glam-encrusted ’tude, it’s as pure a distillation of hard-rockin’ powerpop as anything you’ll encounter this year.

From the Joan Jett-like catscratch stomp of “Ponce de Leon Avenue” and the Replacements-styled melodic chug of “Reason” to the meatily Mott The Hooplian “Overdue” and the Faces/Black Crowes scarf-twirler “It’s All Over,” Rivers doesn’t try to disguise his influences. (Speaking of which: A rousing cover of T. Rex’s “Jupiter Liar” closes the record, sees Rivers nailing Marc Bolan’s whinysexycool vox.) But he doesn’t ape his influences either; to pull this kind of material off convincingly you’ve gotta marinate in it most of your life, something that Rivers has clearly done. This guy loves his rock ’n’ roll

Fred Mills writes about music for Metro Times. Send comments to [email protected].