Since the mid-1980s, David Pedroza has fronted a shifting array of bands on the local scene while keeping single-mindedly to a street-leaning brand of riffy, soulful rock built on the styles of such illustrious precursors as Lou Reed, the Rolling Stones, David Bowie and Mott the Hoople.
The Pedroza-led Scarecrows, Spanish Fly and Supernaturals never made an album, but as he finally debuts as a solo act, many of his old buddies are on hand to help. The most famous of them--Marc Ford, a former Scarecrows guitarist now flocking with the Black Crowes--doesn't play on the CD. But such sharp local musicians as Mark Dutton, who co-produced the album with Pedroza, keyboards player Joe Simon and lead guitarist Jack Rivera give the record just the right mix of raw, let-it-rip messiness and emotive warmth.
Pedroza is no innovator, and it is easy to spot lyrical bits or musical passages that are mainly homages to his sources. His deadpan singing lacks the swaggering, attitude-filled vocal dynamism and confidence of a Jagger, Bowie or Reed. But in his own nice-guy way, this rock 'n' roll Everyman does a good job of getting across his tales. Warm, intimate and leaning toward ballads, marked by his ear for chorus melodies that linger in the mind, the 10-song collection plays to Pedroza's strengths.