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The Morning Way


A welcome addition to the annals of alternative rock, Tefflon starts The Morning Way right off with a promising guitar lead at once clean and slightly fuzzy, adroitly setting the stage for what follows: a slightly melancholy but ultimately uplifting, autumnal passage of songs. The second and this critic’s favorite track, “Ludes,” then opens with the unmistakable inflection of Pacino’s Tony Montana, a.k.a. Scarface, uttering the immortal quip, “Another qualude, she gonna love me again.” This comes back around as the refrain at the end of the song to poignant effect, both droll and affecting.

Tefflon’s real musical superstar is Alicia Ruggiero on “the three V’s” as the liner states (that is, violin, viola and vocals), which is evident as she flexes her unparalleled chops especially on the instrumental title track, as well as all the others. Versatility is well demonstrated on another of the album’s highlights, “Low on the Highs,” which breaks things up with a rollicking samba, replete with a jittery but disciplined rhythm guitar worthy of anything Dave Matthews has ever done, and again, Alicia’s dazzling strings. Here’s to hoping these San Diego champs transcend their locality and get the nationwide if not international attention they deserve.

Favorite: Track 2, “Ludes”

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Steve Gunn is a hard-boiled suburban New Yorker with a PhD in rockology and the propensity to point with full-throttle moxie up to his ears and unflinchingly declare, “Hey! These things ain’t garbage cans, y’know!”

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