Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The Waitresses - Bruiseology

This month marks the thirtieth anniversary of the release of Bruiseology, the second full-length studio album from the Waitresses. It charted at number 155 on the US Billboard Hot 200.

The roster of the band continued to be consistent here. Guitarist Chris Butler had his hand in writing all of the tracks. Patty Donahue continued with lead vocals, Billy Ficca was behind the drum-kit, Dan Klayman played the organ, Mars Williams provided the smooth sax, and Tracy Wormworth supported it all with her bass.

Side one begins with “A Girl’s Gotta Do”, a female empowered number with a bouncy beat and a chanting mantra-chorus. I like the powerful blend of guitars, drums, keyboards and sax on this one.

“Make the Weather” served as the B-side to the first single and was also released as part of a two-song twelve inch EP. The lyrics speak to the awkward side of youthful dating.

On “Everything’s Wrong If My Hair Is Wrong”, Donahue obsesses about getting ready for a night out and concludes that perfect hair is the key to making it all work. I like the part where she has a conversation with Williams’ sax.

“Luxury” clocks in at six and a half minutes, giving the band plenty of space to work out a nice groove with a variety of tempo change-ups. I can easily see the way this one could have been cut in order to make a two and a half minute single if needed be.

“Open City” closes out the first half on a big, bold note.

Side two starts with “Thinking About Sex Again”, a rather sarcastic stab at the fairly accurate fact that young males tend to think about sex a ton. Here, the tables are turned with Donahue portraying a woman who has carnal activities on her mind.

The title track “Bruiseology” was the first single from the album. The song shines a light on a physical abusive relationship in the band’s own style.

Next up is the instrumental track “Pleasure”. It has a great grinding dance groove, thanks to the bass and horn. It is a nice change up by this point on the album.

Wormworth takes the lead vocals on the next track “Spin”, a dance track with another solid bass line. That helps it come across with more of funk vibe which is different for the group.

“They’re All Out of Liquor, Let’s Find Another Party”, which closes out the record, is my least favorite of the lot. It opens with what sounds like people tuning instruments in a disorganized manner. Donahue does a stream-of-consciousness spill of lyrics. The only part I like the most is the brief instrumental scramble that serves as the chorus.

Sadly, Bruiseology was the final release from the Ohio-native band. A year later, the Waitresses broke up completely with band members going their separate ways.

I did not own a copy of Bruiseology back in the day; it wasn’t until I picked up a compilation CD that I was introduced to some of these tracks. The rest have yet to be released on CD or via digital download though. Hopefully, that will be corrected in the future so that the Waitresses’ entire catalog is available for the fans and listeners for many years to come.

For my reviews of their earlier releases, you can use the links below:

- For their 1982 debut album Wasn’t Tomorrow Wonderful, click here.

- For the 1982 EP I Could Rule the World If I Could Only Get the Parts, click here.

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