Ocha La Rocha: Stealing Time EP  

Science Fair Records

Ocha La Rocha's second release finds the Atlanta group writing as a band rather than simply backing singer/guitarist Johnny La Rocha. In the process, the group reaches a higher plain of swamp-boogie, country and Southern comfort. "You Baby You," "Circle Around" and "Tomorrow is You" glide effortlessly across such terrain, mingling slide guitar, piano and organ with La Rocha's raspy voice and robust harmonies. "Asleep at the Wheel" is quietly baroque, while "Dearest Lady" is a wilting honky-tonk rumination that ties the record together with countrified Zen. Attention collectors: The vinyl-only release comes as a one-sided 12-inch, save for a thin band of playable grooves (featuring the song "Taking a Ride") on the B-side, which also features artwork of a one dollar bill. It's a gorgeous misuse of real estate on a piece of vinyl, and quite possibly the first time an etched side of vinyl can be played. (4 out of 5 stars)

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