Angelenos Le Switch release their second album, The Rest of Me is Space, and I’m still trying to grasp what the buzz is about. Maybe it’s that I don’t really lament the passing of certain ’70s classic rock sounds. And I really dislike Billy Joel, who for some reason keeps popping to mind as I listen.  

The Rest of Me Is Space is no radical departure from the formula laid out by their previous releases, but it does show growth and maturity. There are some genuinely good moments to savor here; it’s just that it’s a paltry feast and not enough to sate my appetite.  

Now for those moments: “Call Out” is laid back and harkens back to the Kinks à la Muswell Hillbillies. “Bad Decisions” has some riveting segments, although vocalist Aaron Kyle at times sounds like he’s gargling a mixture of hydrochloric acid and rocks and singing simultaneously. It’s an interesting sound that, unfortunately, makes me shiver for all the wrong reasons. My vocal chords ache just listening, and I can’t imagine the damage that one has to do to sound like that. (This is coming from a seasoned Tom Waits fan, keep in mind.) “Hurky Jurky,” the album closer, shows signs of genius, and I hope it’s a sign of things to come. It opens on a ragtime piano and slowly progresses, becoming a bluesy show tune-esque screamer with a smattering of softer elements like the toy piano thrown in for good measure.

The rest of the album sadly reminds me of classic rock cover bands, except that these aren’t covers. Technically, they’ve got it down; in fact, they’re remarkably talented in that regard. But there’s little to speak of as far as originality, and outside of those tunes mentioned above, they’re lacking that special spark that makes a performance genuine, that makes you feel it in the marrow of your bones. It’s what transports an act from the arena of bar band and into the category of household name. Sadly, you won’t find it here.

Grade: C

The Rest of Me Is Space is currently available.