Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Joanne Shaw Taylor
White Sugar

Where I have an(other) eternal bugbear that no horde of love-locusts could scratch about starbucks blues-froth that leaves you with nuthin but the deep down darkness they’re meant to be consoling and assuaging, multiplied by the number of Mandarin speakers undergoing a population explosion when combined with the almost Pop Idol like production line of precociously twittering-teens with all too serene lives who follow musical formats to the letter not the lore, this lass from the Black Country is, as parlance commands, the real deal, no need to scratch it in her arm for she excises it rather successfully and succinctly from these other side of midnight and seven weeks of stormy Monday moans and howls. Sure it’s modern, glossy and got a show room-shine but it doesn't suffocate. With a husky, smoke-smitten voice she spins tales dashed with dirt-road dust (be that the dead-beat industrial wreckage of the Texan desert or the Dudley doledrums) outta those strings that loosen any kinks in your vertebrae, and plausibly other areas of your cerebral vortex. Possessed of a soul and spirit that has no trace of the ever-present forced nature of supposedly soulful new guns on the schlock-block like Joss Stone, in favour of a fervent flair and passion altogether missing from over-lauded and noted blues icons like Bonnie Raitt. Pretty sure I is, looking at the blond, um, Tele, on the cover that I saw her on an all-female bill in some Mancy shite-shed (twas a Walkabout, in some bizarre episode of promoter-ship) with Holly Golightly a coupla years back and she was scorching enough to make you realise just why Eurythmics’ Dave Stewart got her to shuffle the slink on tour with him, as the Stevie Ray aww shucks boogie of the instrumental title track, the cat-scrape fury on Time Has Come and summer funk of Kiss The Ground Goodbye ably (to borrow again from the pages of common parlance) demonstrate.
Stu Gibson
Canned Heat
The Boogie House Tapes Vol 3

While I despise tedious guitar scrotum-scratching sessions as much, nay more! more! I say, than the most ardent adherent of no-frills punk (this may not quite be the case but I'm making a point here, people) this double disc dive into the bilge of late sixties and early seventies live and unreleased tapes is a mighty reminder that such strenuous free-form flights of muso-malarkey can produce flurries of fantastical flights. Which is just as you may hope from the boogie-lava experimentalists and mavericks who constructed the churning, creepy, scalp-splitting ditty-drone-dirge On The Road Again (here in two multi-storey forms). It may help that a lot of it stems from the troubled spirits that saw the suicide of founder cook Alan 'Blind Owl' Wilson but there’s a lucid ferocity that takes it to realms of star-shooting galaxies far from the addled hippie self-satisfied sloposphere of the graceless ‘Dead or Hendrix’s yawning chasms of lysergic Woodstock / Isle of Wight inter-swell-head overdrivel seepage.
Stu Gibson
Peter Pan Speedrock / Batmobile
Cross Contamination
People Like You

A double Dutch ditch-diving bruise carouse where these two defile the other’s sublime and supinely willing classics like eager beavers on acetylene-laced lubricants lay into each others songs with their own inimitable excitement-inducers. So the lust for life n’ liver ailments of Killerspeed and the attendant sleaze dereliction to make Kiss look like quivering clowns hiding under cushions that are Big Toy and the splendido gut-rut of Straight Back To Hormoneville get given the eighties psycho-steaming Batmobile stomp. And fucking love it. In turn PPSR billy up the er ‘billy in their panzerphet pain-raid on the ‘mobile’s nubile terror-enticers like Transylvanian Express and Dead (I Want Them When They Are Dead). And you’ll want this when you’re dead too, so best buy it early while you’re still alive. Or thereabouts. And stroll the fuck on, sinners.
Stu Gibson
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