It’s tempting to think of ALL THAT GLITTERS as a long-lost 4th Pezband album… Pezband’s RUBBER SOUL or REVOLVER — thirty years in the making. After all, ALL THAT GLITTERS boasts rich, multi-layered production, inventive songwriting, and the iconic vocals of Pezband’s lead singer Mimi Betinis. But while the poppy “Love Is Just a Thin Veneer,” (the first track of ALL THAT GLITTERS) may harken back to the skinny tie era — with its twangy guitars and soaring background vocals, by the time you hit the chorus (arranged with cello and violin), you quickly realize that it’s not 1979 anymore and this is not a Pezband record. Which is just fine. In fact, better than fine. What emerges over the course of the next 10 tracks is an artfully-crafted collage of song textures and styles that fit together masterfully — not unlike the album’s cover art (also created by Betinis).
Standout tracks include “Come on Down to My House” (co-written with Pezband drummer Mick Rain) with its wicked swampy guitar licks and an energetic rhythm section featuring Chris Massa (Bass) and Carlo Iaccino (Drums), “Blue Sky” with its refreshingly bare vocals and impossibly hooky melody — complimented by ska horns by Chuck Soumar and Dave Stalhberg (The Ides of March), and the haunting “Say the Word” featuring acapella vocals with Carla Hassett.
Back in the Pezband era, Betinis was painted as sort of a windy-city Paul McCartney. And it’s true that his voice shares the same tone as Macca — as well as the ability to switch from crooning ballads to raucous rock (as evidenced by Pezband’s seminal live performance of “Hippy Hippy Shake” from their TWO OLD TWO SOON – LIVE AT DINGWALLS EP). But on ALL THAT GLITTERS we’re treated to another side of Betinis’ voice — somewhere between John Lennon and Ron Nasty. For proof, check out the hidden gem of the album: a lovingly-crafted symphonic cover of “Across the Universe” — one of the few Beatles covers that actually surpasses the original.
ALL THAT GLITTERS is great news for Pezband fans, classic rock fans, or anybody who enjoys hand-made music overflowing with melody and texture. But the best news is that Betinis may be making up for lost time. Rumor has it that there is a second album in the works for release next year. Keep ’em coming!