The Karl Hendricks Trio – The Adult Section

2 out of 5

Label: Comedy Minus One

Produced by: Matt Schor (recorded by)

Every dang song on Karl Hendricks’ last album, Adult Section, rocks. Socks off, rah-rah, speaker-rattlin’ rock. Crunchy as heck guitars and humorous but varied lyrics soundtrack and detail anthem after anthem, with insane, punk style drumming backing things up and filling in any quiet moment. 

It’s a very busy record. …And maybe to a fault. And maybe, ironic for the song chosen as the album title, there’s a slightly immature aspect to things: a man-child nature to the lyrics that grouse about problems we had in our 20s, but then also grouse about being 40. Combined with the loudness and bravado of the music, it feels less naturally impassioned than some of Karl’s previous albums, and more like an excuse to get together with some folks and rock out, hence almost every song hitting the same basic flow of fast-paced riffage leading to a song-ending guitar solo. The way it’s recorded doesn’t help to differentiate that much; it’s punchy, but all lands at about the same register, with the pace and general tone of the guitars and Karl’s vocals mostly maintaining the same sound. 

A song at a time, Adult Section is solid. It’s okay listening to a 40 year old man complain a bit, and it’s given bite by the solid musical chops. But track after track of this starts to feel more like a garage band – just getting together to jam – than something designed for impact, or an album, and despite the volume, can thus become rather boring.