Terry Anderson and the Olympic Ass-kickin Team | National Champions

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National Champions

by Terry Anderson and the Olympic Ass-kickin Team

...songs about sex, women, sexy women, America the Contradictory, Barry Bonds, and a little more sex...
Genre: Rock: Rock & Roll
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  Song Share Time Download
1. Goin' or Comin'
4:24 $0.99
2. Willie Mays
3:27 $0.99
3. Lost Your Number
3:19 $0.99
4. You Had Me At Get Lost
3:17 $0.99
5. Is We or Ain't We
2:57 $0.99
6. Indy 500
3:13 $0.99
7. About You
3:01 $0.99
8. Pow'ful 'Merka
3:26 $0.99
9. Wrong for That
4:55 $0.99
10. Lover Like That
3:10 $0.99
11. Found Missin'
2:50 $0.99
12. Feel Right Now
2:58 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
National Champions
(Doublenaught ***1/2)
Terry Anderson plays with Dan Baird and Eric Ambel in the roots-rock supergroup the Yayhoos. But over the last few years with his own first-rate band, the Olympic Ass-Kickin' Team, the singing and songwriting drummer has been doing the best work of his unsung career. With National Champions, the North Carolinian and his team raise their level of studio craft while delivering another hook-happy blast of fun rock and sweet pop.

Anderson presents more ingenious variations on his usual touchstones - Chuck Berry, Rockpile, NRBQ foremost among them. Within that framework, however, are some new turns: "Pow'ful 'Merka" offers pointed commentary about ask-no-questions patriotism, and "Willie Mays" is less a salute to the Say Hey Kid than a slicing and dicing of his godson, Barry Bonds. The hoot-and-a-half "You Had Me at Get Lost" pushes up to and probably past the boundaries of PC ("That restraining order really got me hot"), while "Wrong for That" is a dead-on bedroom-soul parody, complete with recitation, that finds Anderson breaking into a falsetto. It's just one of the many high points, so to speak, on this championship effort.

- Nick Cristiano

When you name your band the Olympic Ass Kickin’ Team, you’re more or less laying it all on the line with no holds barred. Fortunately, Terry Anderson and company offer no allusions about from whence they come. Theirs is a back-to-the-basics motif firmly rooted in the old school sounds of the mid-to-late ‘60s and early ‘70s, bolstered by such badasses as the Stones, the Faces and illicit offspring like the New York Dolls, Johnny Thunders and NRBQ. Indeed, their cocky swagger and devil-may-care attitude summon up the best of Rock’s immortals by doing their forebears proud.

Anderson himself has something of a minor history, although in the strictest terms it would be considered more of a footnote. Weaned in the fertile North Carolina music scene and having worked with bands like the Woods and the Knobs whose presence on the national landscape went all but unnoticed, Anderson expanded his reach by hoisting himself from his drum stool and offering his songs to a few fellow travelers. The results paid off, albeit narrowly, when the Georgia Satellites tapped his rowdy rave-up "Battleship Chains" and made it a mainstay of their set. The Satellites’ leader, Dan Baird, extended the association by appropriating another Anderson composition, "I Love You Period," for his solo debut. Anderson himself stepped out on his own in the early ‘90s, cutting three relatively obscure solo albums up through the new millennium (You Don't Like Me, What Else Can Go Right and I'll Drink to That) until he eventually opted to transfer his talents back to the band format with his present bunch of rowdy rockers.

Consequently, the group’s second studio outing offers few surprises, and if anything, the influences are even more obvious. The no-frills brand of bluster that marks "Goin’ or Comin’" brings those Exile-era Stones influences to the fore, while the cleverly titled "You Had Me at Get Lost" is pure mid-period Faces. So too, "Lost Your Number" offers a forlorn wail that sounds like Keef or Woody taking a rare moment to sing in the spotlight. A pair of "message" songs – the overly infectious "Willie Mays," sung in homage to the achievements of its namesake, and "Pow’ful ‘Merka," a patriotic parody of sorts – offer rare moments of profundity. Otherwise, the only variation in tone – aside from a detour into pure pop realms via "About You," and "Wrong for That," a rare bit of balladry sung in a high-pitched soulful sway – is that which falls between a rant and a wail, all straight-on and unapologetic.
- Reviewed by Lee Zimmerman

While most bands tend to offer their wares at odd angles, replete with studio trickery and skewered attitudes, Anderson’s intentions leave little room for second guessing. Clearly, the Olympic Ass Kickin’ Team is ready to tackle the big time.

Everyone needs a good ass-kicking once in a while. Rock music has needed one for a good long time now. Terry Anderson, who often teams up with former Georgia Satellite Dan Baird to make up the Yayhoos, is just the guy to do it.

Like Phil Collins, Anderson is combination drummer/lead singer. Similarities between the two end there. First off, it's safe to say Anderson could drink the Cabbage Patch Doll look-alike under the table. His humor is raunchier, and he also knows his way around a guitar riff. He prefers power chords, which run rampant through National Champions.

Opening track "Goin' or Comin'" is strikingly similar to Foghat's "Slowride," but better. "Willie Mays" is actually a diatribe against the obscenely large-headed Barry Bonds, of whom Anderson sings, "While everyone in the Bay / Is drinking from your Kool-Aid / You still ain't half as cool as Willie Mays." It's a song every beer-drinking baseball fan wishes he had written, but it's something Anderson seems to do effortlessly.

His borderline misogynistic humor shines through on "You Had Me at Get Lost." In front of big, fuzzy guitars, he sings of how his girlfriend's neglect and abuse turn him on. "That restraining order really got me hot," he quips. It's all just good clean American fun.

That's what Anderson is. He's a good ol' boy, albeit one with a slightly higher IQ, who likes to rock. And he does it well. He's half Nick Lowe, half Eddie Van Halen. Check out the roadhouse rockabilly of "Missing You," or the tongue-in-cheek blue-eyed soul of "Wrong For That." But for every one of those there is a straight ahead rocker that makes you wanna hold your Pabst Blue Ribbon high as your head bops up and down. This man deserves a gold medal.
– By Al Kaufman

You'll be forgiven for thinking that Terry Anderson would have run out of songs by now. He's been at it for over 30 years, and his tunes have stocked the shelves for the Fabulous Knobs, the Woods, the Yayhoos, various other Dan Baird enterprises, and, of course, the Olympic Ass-Kickin Team. But, nope, here he is back with another batch - songs about sex, women, sexy women, America the Contradictory, Barry Bonds, and a little more sex - and it just might be his best collection yet. He and the mighty OAKTeam surround the stories with a busting-at-the-seams sound that caroms back and forth between chicken-fried power pop and huge-speaker barband rock (with one stop for a real soul number), and everything goes down easy. Anderson is a music lifer, and I'd like to officially request a lifetime pass.

At a time when listening to some artists' music feels like work, the output from Terry Anderson and the Olympic Ass Kickin Team is pure play. Anderson kneels before a Mount Rushmore of Berry, Richards, Lowe, and Westerberg, and I, in turn, genuflect before him. Damn, he's good.
— Rick Cornell



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