January 11, 1991 at 05:00 AM EST

Billy's Live Bait

Current Status
In Season
We gave it a B-

Gear Daddies lead singer and guitarist Martin Zellar writes about preferring to sit alone at the local pub and brood, thank you — and then sings like a college student who’s too shy actually to venture out to a bar. That same timidity hinders this Minnesota quartet, who play the sort of earnest heartland rock that enjoyed a mid-’80s vogue. Compared with Let’s Go Scare Al, the band’s first album, the guitars and drums in Billy’s Live Bait are tougher and twangier, the vocals goosier, and the smidgens of country and folk more pronounced. But the performances lack the grit and simple profundities of John Cougar Mellencamp or the musical jolt of Los Lobos. The band can play appealing, fresh-faced country-rock, as heard on the bracing ”Time Heals” or the coltish gait of ”No One’s Home.” But perhaps the Gear Daddies should be a tad more boorish and a tad less modest. B-

You May Like