Local singer-songwriter David Childers has done plenty over the years to get himself permanently ensconced in the Charlotte-area music scene — not only as a player, but as an influence. From his time with the Modern Don Juans to his solo releases to his gospel-inspired Serpents of the Reformation, Childers has showcased a breadth of talent beyond the borders of genre labels. It should therefore be no surprise that his latest project takes a stroll down the path of '70s-inspired rock.
One Eye Open, the debut album from Carolina Crushers, is simple in its approach, yet stout in its presentation. It's Childers backed by a rock band — producer and guitarist Leroy Lewis (The Dopes, The Losers), guitarist Don Eidman and drummer Tom Root — giving his vocal tone a different forum. The guitar gets a little overdone on the opening track, "Trouble," but its Childers' voice that holds the song together more than what's going on behind him.
A cover of the Screaming Trees' "Bed of Roses" follows, before the band gets back on track with its originals. "Smoking 45" infuses a bit of country style into the rhythm and lyrics as Childers sings of an altercation that leads a peaceful man to draw his gun. He's not alone in his singing on the album, however, as fellow North Carolina stalwart Malcolm Holcombe pairs up nicely on "The Truth."
Is it Childers' finest work? Not even close, but it's nice to hear his talent flexed in the rock arena for a change. It's a solid listen that would work well live, but if it's a one-off side project, I wouldn't complain either.