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CD REVIEW: Bill & the AntiDepressants - 'Hot Dogs & Lotion (Greatest Hits)'
By Steve Allat - 03/17/2004 - 07:59 PM EST

Artist: Band: Bill & the AntiDepressants
Album: 'Hot Dogs & Lotion (Greatest Hits)'
CD Review: Label: Independent
Tracks: 21
Released: 2003
For Fans Of:: Talking Heads, Offspring, Stone Marmot (see review)
Fav Track: Talking to the Coffee Cup, Here's What It's Like, Quest For Peace.

If you've ever wondered what it would have been like had Dexter Holland (of the Offspring) not become successful, but rather, drifted into middle age still inspired to make music and wanting his voice to be heard, then read on . . .

This CD is the story of Bill (& the AntiDepressants, which by my calculations is . . . Bill). In this, his 5th release, a traditional number for the old 'Greatest Hits' package, we have the summation of Bill, his music and his life. It's all there to see and hear.

In his own words, Bill strives to make music that is "creative and meaningful, not contrived for performances or corporate radio. It MUST be fun and have meaning!". Bill writes, produces and plays everything on all his songs, and is an avid 'home recorder'.

What that means for the listener is that Bill is telling the truth. The CD sounds pretty good, and like it was recorded at home by one ambitious guy. The songs are fairly similar, and I only found a few instances where the music really caught my attention. There's a lot going on for one guy, and Bill's unique voice in the mix, it's a lot to take in.

The songs themselves are what they are. While not trying to serve a radio-friendly formula, they still conform mostly to the sense and style that you get when you blend elements of punk and hard rock. Songwriting takes a back seat to free expression, so be warned - melody is the casualty.

Bill's life and philosophies are laid out, and it's pretty easy to understand his drift most of the time. There's middle aged angst that many will relate to. There are anthems of observation of life occurrences and the age old question of peace and happiness. In the end, there isn't really any resolution, and I'm sure Bill has more CD's in him, as this seems to be what he loves to do. It also serves as therapy, I'm sure, as good honest music should.

As a listener, I think many of us could do worse than to listen to Bill, for I'm sure he represents more of middle America that we'd care to admit. And to men out there around Bill's age (45) - maybe your kids should listen so that they will know how you really feel without saying it. Bill isn't shy about it, trust me.

This is one of those CD's that I won't be listening to again any time soon, but I do not regret for a moment that I've heard it. Anything this different, creative and refreshing is worth the while.

Contact: Bill Lehman
Website: Bill & the AntiDepressants, Columbus Music

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