SON OF DAVE 03 (Kartel) Rating: NNN
Benjamin Darvill is likely dismayed that he's still better known for his role in the Crash Test Dummies than for his current one-man blues-funk band Son of Dave, even as he releases his fourth album. Unfortunately, it's the novelty aspect of his previous band that haunts his work. Weird instrumentation is fine if you don't drop in too much silliness, but how do you take songs like I Just Wanna Get High With You seriously, let alone his cover of Low Rider?
His shtick works best when the production emulates what he does live with just his harmonica and looping pedals. When the songs are fleshed out with too many overdubs, the goofiness pops to the foreground and his oddities start sounding all too ordinary. There are some inspired moments, but Darvill's best off when he keeps the rapping to a minimum and eschews the pop tendencies in favour of the swamp-blues weirdness he does so well.
Son of Dave performs Tuesday (August 12), 5:30 pm, at the Rivoli.