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Funny Money Back Again (Reissue)

By Frank Meyer, Contributing Editor
Wednesday, November 10, 2004 @ 0:56 AM


(Perris)

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This reissue of the 1999 sophomore effort by former Kix vocalist and blower of harmonica Steve Whiteman’s Funny Money is augmented by five bonus tracks culled from 2001’s Even Better… Live!, making this quite the non-stop rock hop.

After releasing their self-titled debut album in '98, this five-piece Baltimore-based outfit blasted out Back Again the following year and continued bashing the East coast with their Kix-style upbeat hard rock. Whiteman has still got it vocally and rocks like a hurricane on stage, yet their debut was a much slicker affair. Here, you get Cool Kids sleazy rock, complete with plenty o’ Aerosmith-ian twin guitar boogie riffola, bleach blonde Zander-esque vocal soars, and bubblegum-wrapper-stuck-to-your-black-Converse-style pop-teen-anthems-for-grown-ups.

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Opening with the cool street shuffle of "Resurrection," Whiteman is in top form, wailin' and beltin' his bluesy pipes over catchy hard rock riffs and hooky choruses. Their theme song, "Funny Money," is a headbangin’ number with lyrics that are a direct attack at the major label game Whiteman’s former band went through. "Pink Glasses," "Sloppy Kisses," "Wrapped Around You," "Owe It All To You" and "Horny Little Angel" are pure pop candy and will surely satisfy your Cheap Trick fix. But we head back into hard-rocksville with the triple blast of "Damage Control," "I Felt Everything (…But Sorry)," and a scorching live version of an AC/DC-influenced track from their debut, "Boogie Man."

Keeping with the live vibe, comes “I’m Your Whore,” “Art of Persuasion,” “Baby Blues,” You Rub Me the “Wrong Way,” and “Off My Rocker” off of Even Better… Live!, all of which kick major ass. Sure “I’m Your Whore” lifts the “Hot Girls in Love” riff. And yeah, “Art of Persuasion” could be off a Rick Springfield album. But “Baby Blues’ is pure power pop beauty, “You Rub Me the Right Way” hits the nail on the head quite nicely, and “Off My Rocker” is indeed off its rocker… with rock! This tune is as close to vintage A-list Kix material as you’re ever gonna get.

It’s all good stuff, folks, and from the sounds of the live cuts, they put on a helluva live show too. Plus, if you catch ‘em in concert, the band now features Kix drummer Jimmy Chalfant. In fact, I hear that Whiteman and Chalfant often do full Kix sets with guitarist Brian Forsythe and Ronnie Younkins and may soon hit the road for a reunion tour. Now THAT’s a reunion I’d pay good money to see... funny money that is. Alright, that was bad, sorry.

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