The American Professionals is a power pop trio from San Francisco, California. The band roster includes Chuck Lindo (guitar and vocals), Cheryl Hendrickson (bass and vocals) and Adam White (drums and percussion). We Make It Our Business is the group’s sophomore CD.
On this 11-track release they are joined by guest musician Michael Romanowski who provides additional guitar, percussion, keys and “sonic prestidigitation” to help flesh out the album. The lead-in is “Other People”. It provides an adequate intro to their audio offerings but belies their full abilities.
The second selection is “Dr. Holly”. While a song about a doctor might be something we’ve heard before the band puts its own slant on it and that makes a big difference. The next number is “Meltdown”. By now a careful listener may just very well have noticed that while this is the first disc by the current configuration of the band they have their act together.
Just to keep things interesting the band throws in a cover. Here they present their tuneful take on the Gillian Welch cut “The Way It Goes”. His is the only song on the album that is not original. But again, well done covers on albums by relatively new groups work well to bring a solid sense of familiarity to the work.
They quickly shift back into their own thing though with “The Mist”. By now it should be obvious that this group puts out strong power pop pieces oft’times peppered with their own quirkiness. It’s followed by “Healing”. This initially has a nice, slow dance feel to it in the intro before they pick it up. Switching up lead vocalists as they do keeps things fresh.
The seventh song is “ID”. This one rocks. What else do you need to know? It’s followed by “Champion”. Somehow the backing vocals make this one seem slightly derivative but not enough to slow things down or stop the flow of the work.
“Keep Up With You” is next. It’s got a good beat and a touch of that old school garage rock sound to it. Also included on the album is “Just Now and Then” which is one of the songs that make it sound like they are enjoying themselves. They also throw some references to Facebook and e-mail into the lyrics to keep it current and trendy.
Oddly enough the closing cut is “Happening to You”. It seems oddly placed in that the song opens with the lyrics: “This is the beginning of the way it should be . . .” Still, musically it stands as a strong closer so perhaps that was the motivation behind the placement. Overall, if you like a blend of musical influences and bands such as The Knack, The Replacements or Lisa Marr’s Buck then you should check out The American Professionals before listening to any “Other People”.
My name is Phoenix and . . . that’s the bottom line.