In Widespread Panic, bassist Dave Schools provides a bottom to ditties that sometimes seem as if they'll never end. Stockholm Syndrome, Schools' latest project, may be a bit more song-based than his main combo, but it's not exactly a departure. The new band teams him with several kindred spirits, including drummer Wally Ingram (a longtime David Lindley sideman), Jackmormons tunesmith Jerry Joseph and guitarist Eric McFadden, who's worked with the likes of Les Claypool and George Clinton. The act's just-released debut platter, Holy Happy Hour, sports a few offbeat compositions -- among them the unexpectedly wordy "Purple Hearts," which name-checks Michelangelo and Camus for no apparent purpose. For the most part, though, the players can't resist spreading a bit of jam, as they do during an elongated cover of the forgettable Climax Blues Band hit "Couldn't Get It Right." The group's at its best when it serves up Southern rock straight with no chaser, as it does on "Princess Cruise," but odds are strong that even this relatively succinct tune will be subjected to stretching in concert. That will probably thrill Widespread-heads, but others may find themselves suffering from Stockholm Syndrome.
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