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SCOTT KEMPNER (Buy CDs by this artist)
Tenement Angels (Razor & Tie) 1992

Between the end of the Del-Lords in 1990 and the formation of the Little Kings with rock'n'roll great Dion DiMucci in 1995, Bronx-born singer/guitarist Scott ("Top Ten") Kempner maintained his membership in the sporadic Dictators, toured with the big-in-Europe Brandos and made this thin but appealing solo album with the instrumental/production aid of Missouri's Skeletons. Consistent with his work in the Del-Lords, the album has an easygoing urban roots-rock sound — '60s AM radio given a heartland kick, a taste of country and a little musical poetry. That approach goes a ways towards keeping the hard emotional times potently described in "Bad Intent," "Livin' With Her, Livin' With Me," "Lonesome Train" and "Love Among the Ruins" from dragging the album down too much. Likewise, a cover of the Reflections' optimistic 1964 hit "(Just Like) Romeo and Juliet" and a couple of goodtime originals further cut the tension, allowing Kempner to burn in the flame of love and escape with nothing more than a few singed feathers.

[Ira Robbins]
   See also Del-Lords, Dictators