‘Just Name It’
“Just Name It,” released on April 30, is Rochester-based rocker Greg Townson’s third stab at pure pop sugar. Having established his primo pop prowess on two previous solo outings — “On Your Side” and “My Friend the Night” — Townson hits the bullseye with “Just Name It,” which fits nice and tight within his expansive bailiwick of sounds and genres.
Recently, Townson has been on tour backing up Rockpile raconteur Nick Lowe as a member of Los Straitjackets, and Lowe’s classic Brit-pop leanings have clearly left an impression on Townson and his songwriting. On this new seven-song tour de twang, the guitar approaches ethereal heights despite its controlled simplicity. Clearly Townson’s holding back, both in deference to the lyrics and because that’s what the songs require. If you’ve seen the man play in his typically wild rock ‘n’ roll guitar style, you’d understand.
Speaking of lyrics, “If You’re Not in Love” includes this succinct and wise advice: “Better to be unattached than unsuitably matched.” That song also features a cameo by Hanna PK on the piano; bassist Todd Bradley, Townson’s bandmate in The Hi-Risers, makes an appearance on “It’s Good to Be Alive.” With those two exceptions, Townson plays all the instruments. “Just Name It” is timeless and effervescent, and for the time being, it’s available exclusively on Bandcamp.
Frank De Blase is CITY's music writer. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.