What In The World... and More ( Better Days Records & Hit A Note Records )
Velvet Elvis

By Brent Starkey

I found What In The World a few years back in the bargain bin for fifty cents and have spun the whole thing (maybe) twice since. But upon getting this for review and noticing some of Louisville's "Kings among men" and all-around great guys (producer Jeff Carpenter, Better Days' Ben Jones and executive producer / rock encyclopedia Alan Hall), I knew it was time for a serious listen. And lo and behold ... I like!

The What In The World l.p. is stronger than I remember it being, from the Plimsouls-sounding power-pop anthem "Ambition" to the college radio-friendly "Out of My Hands" (which brings to mind another forgotten Louisville band - "The Commons"... now I know where some of their ideas came from). In between, I'm reminded of Tom Petty ("Back It Up") and The Dream Syndicate ("Something Happened Today").

There's even some new-wave ("What In The World") and a bit of country. The 3 songs from Fun & Trouble are fine and definitely bring the '80's sound (not to mention memories of long nights at Real To Reel with lots of beer and Elvis Costello on the wall) . The later stuff, four songs of which were produced by Mitch Easter, head in a radio-ready direction and fare best when they rock a little ("Of You Say It's So,""Whatever's On Our Minds" and "Try") and recall once again Tom Petty.

A solid release; if you have the vinyl, get it for the unreleased cuts (there are eight) and if you don't have the vinyl, get it for a piece of Louisville music history and some 80's rockin' pop fun.