Steve Poltz, Noineen Noiny Noin
Steve Poltz started his career as a founding member of San Diego based indie-rock band The Rugburns and is best known for co-writing Jewel’s hit song “You Were Meant for Me”. Since then he has built a reputation as a killer live performer and after listening to his eighth album, I get the sense that Polz is a songwriter’s songwriter.
Noineen Noniy Noin opens with “Spirit Hands” which has a distinct Zeppelin-esque vibe and with that distorted slide guitar (especially during the heavy choruses) reminded me of Jeff Martin’s (The Tea Party) solo work. “Croatia” is a romantic ode to the former Republic of Yugoslavia and is one of the catchiest song here, blessed with a full brass section and some sweet country twang. “I Pray It Never Comes To This” is another gem where Poltz puts on his best Tom Petty impression. Again on “Check Your Head” this chameleon delivers a wonderful 70’s soul song with a wild falsetto and is miles away from the rest of the record.
Bob Dylan recently said in a Rolling Stone feature, “a songwriter doesn’t care about what’s truthful. What he cares about is what should’ve happened, what could’ve happened”. Steve’s Poltz’s most controversial song, “Trash” takes the man who Johnny Cash shot in “Folsom Prison Blues” and turns him into Cash’s transvestite lover. I have to admit, I didn’t see that punch line coming and I had to restart the song just to see how it all came together.
Overall, Noineen Noniy Noin is an amazing collection of songs that are melodically rich and Poltz’s tales of romance and tragedy tantalize the imagination. (Arrival Records) ~ 4 Stars