A Musical Hail Storm

Oh Happy Day (Ear X-tacy)

By David Lilly

Are you accustomed to getting what you want right away? If so, this CD by Louisville band Cooler can provide a worthy lesson in the satisfactions of delayed gratification. Wait until the end of your workday and then put this CD on. From experience I can say that when you metaphorically open the door and literally get hit in the face with the hail storm of guitar, bass and drums, the catharsis you will likely feel will be well worth the wait.

Lead singer Mark Ritcher's voice and singing are the icing on the band's musical cake; or, rather, the fire to their gunpowder. His voice is made for this sound. Amidst the maelstrom of lead guitarist Jeff Goebel's attack in the first song, "Girl's Night Out," they throw in some sirens as if to announce that Cooler Has Arrived. Unnecessary and excessive? No, it adds to the fun!

"Screw" could be an aggressive outtake from the Brian Wilson catalogue, including a surprising and effective banjo cameo and some Joe Strummeresque screaming near the end. "When She Was Mine" and "I Love Rock" may be the most obvious choices for the airwaves, but everything here is radio-ready. "By My Side" sounds Queen influenced, from the mellow/metal opening to the odd chord and tempo changes, and some unusual vocal arrangements. "Supersonic Beaver" slows down the pace just for a moment, but things pick up again before going full steam ahead into the word-playful "Pieces of Ache." Drumsticks of adrenaline pump you into "Louisville," the rocking, patriotic salute to the band's hometown. Bassist Scott Darrow and drummer Jeremy Sherrer provide a solid and rocking rhythm section throughout the proceedings.

If you haven't seen them in person, the word is that Cooler's live show is a real spectacle to behold. I recommend you get the CD as a warm up. Digest what you hear. When they play live, go give your senses a thrill with this fun, gale-force music and a colorful light show. See you there.