Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Sea Level

  • Cats on the Coast [Capricorn, 1978] B-
  • On the Edge [Capricorn, 1978] C-

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Cats on the Coast [Capricorn, 1978]
Because he can sing and write songs, the newly acquired Randall Bramblett imparts a modicum of pop structure, a relief after the shapeless jazzy boogie of their debut. His "That's Your Secret," followed by the Allmansish "It Hurts to Want You So Bad," kicks the whole first side into tol'able playability. B-

On the Edge [Capricorn, 1978]
It becomes clearer and clearer that these are Dixie dregs indeed. Ringing over the Allmans' inexorable flow, Chuck Leavell's Tyneresque piano chordings used to provide a satisfying simulation of spiritual uplift, but in a fusion I'll take Lonnie Liston Smith (if you can believe that). Nor is Randall Bramblett (even) a Joe Henderson on saxophone. Bramblett does contribute four strong songs. Unfortunately, three are available on his second solo album, Light of the Night, in arrangements that demonstrate conclusively the arbitrariness of these. C-