Friday, January 23, 2009

Billy Joe Winghead - Dark Ride

Billy Joe Winghead
Dark Ride
Zodiac Killer

I had no idea these Oklahoma knuckleheads were still around, but I shouldn’t be surprised – Billy Joe Winghead has “bad penny” status stamped on its collective forehead. And thank the white trash crunchbilly gods for that. Admittedly, there’s no shortage of this kind of C&W devil crunge (see: Nine Pound Hammer, Dash Rip Rock on a good night), but few hellspawn have the same savoir faire as the Wingheads do on Dark Ride. Science Fiction Double Feature pays tribute to geek rockers everywhere, Refrigerated Air locates the oh-so-sweet spot betwixt chicken-pickin’, grunge and ZZ Top boogie, Untitled saunters down Santo & Johnny territory without being an outright homage and anthems Poor Penny Carson and You’re Going to Hell inject shots of, dare it be said, tenderness into the band’s usual snotrock & roll. The most head-spinning moments are covers of the Four Seasons’ Rag Doll and Roy Orbison’s Running Scared that, while putting the melodies through the BJW ringer, are shockingly faithful to the songs’ yearning spirits. If you’re a longtime fan, have no fear – there’s plenty of the usual Okie nutball metal on hand, as you might expect from songs titled Shitpipe Minnie, Porno King and Your Friend Jesus. On Dark Ride, Billy Joe Winghead evolves while staying true to its original ideals – a neat trick that not every band can pull off as well as this.
I couldn't find an online shot of the album cover to save my soul, so please enjoy what appears to be an ancient publicity snap instead.

- Michael Toland
Related Posts with Thumbnails