Friday, February 26, 2010

Sasquatch - III

Small Stone

It’s been a long wait for III, the (you called it) third album from L.A. power trio Sasquatch. The band may have taken its time crafting this particular opus, but rest assured it’s worth the thumb-twiddling. Frontguy Keith Gibbs is in rare form, laying down the licks like a hybrid of every good heavy rock guitarist you can think of and singing with grizzled soul. There’s more here than just the sensual pleasure of the sounds, though. The threesome has always stood apart from the hordes of 70s rock revivalists because Gibbs writes actual songs, with melodies and arrangements, rather than just string a couple of power chords and a riff together. III collects a bunch of strong tunes that’ll bring out the air guitarist and head nodder/banger in anyone – check Bare My Soul, Complicated and the groovy, partially acoustic New Disguise for some particularly primo laying down of the rock & roll law. With Pull Me Under, the band even pulls Soundgarden out of its mothballs before the real band could do it. Hard rock, stoner rock, heavy music – whatever the fuck you call it, Sasquatch has it down, my friend.

- Michael Toland

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Jason & The Scorchers - Halcyon Times
Jerkin' Crocus

'Tonight he'll kill a six-pack - Just to watch it die...' - Twang Town Blues

Hallehflockofyeeehawallahjewyo, for the first new Scorchers album since they graciously garnered still glowing embers of the globe an' a-rodeo'd a kick-shit bop round post grunge-gruel & pre-mid-nineties dark, dark, dark ages of Brit-crock dying pop-dross.
Though stating there's a 'usual' amount of stylings or approach is more'n a tad detestable, when that usual is their unbridled, deliriously destabilising, field de-flowering sprouts n' shoots of humour and heartache, then keep shooting and loading. Like they fused country & a little sprig of music called rock'n'roll with a punky edge more accurately termed soul and passion in the early 80's, here they float floor-dishevelling frantic boot-rockers with stunning wailing prairies of balladry. A more excitin' summer-stained assault you will not have all year*. I shit you not. From the bottle-rocketeers to custom-chomped Burrito deluxe's of the calibre of Mona Lee and Georgia Placematellites stomp of Gettin' Nowhere Fast, to comically accurate caricature Moonshine Guy ('Loves The Stones / Hates The Doors / Thinks The Beatles sing for girls'), through hooch-horny barn-dance (Fear Not Gear Rot) and Steve Earle social commentary both caustic (Beat On The Mountain) and comical (particularly the almost mock satire of Nashville pop industry svengali meets desparate starlet uptown one night and takes her downtown in minutes on Twang Town Blues) via historical narrative (Land Of The Free) way back round to cask-delectable Warner carnage Better Than This. A little feat scarce as hell but one possessed in spades by a slew of their near contemporaries of the cow-punk / glam-rag ilk (one such chap crops up here in the veritable form of Mr Dan Baird) forgotten by generations of largely gumptionless laggards that should have leg-shards in their livers and larynxes turned into candlestick holders. And sure these guys have lived & then some, which is why the sombre tones are never the mawkish merangue mired in country cliche, though Days Of Wine And Roses and Golden Days may well still have you wishing for some myopia, in their rustling through glory days and fading ways. With Mister Ringenberg's open, honest drawl unsullied and sounding fresh and unweathered whether displaying wide-eyed wonder or road-worn wisdom matched by General Warner Hodges ever-sprightly truths of trusty twang emanating to round the up-ends, bends, shakes and soup-em all up into some dazzling gaspacho guitar dispatches. All with the exuberance and sheer joy matched only by a few musical compadres and satellites that could fill yer brim with tears of joy, stupid joy and sad joy as your knees do a jalopy dance in a backwoods dance with a combine and your heart harvests possibilities and hindsights. Scorch your earth, burn your burghers and char your hearts with a spirit Josey Wales sure would refrain from spitting out. Fear not the hyperbole (me?), this is truly life a fucking firming stuff. More than that, it's a reason to stay the hell here. If you only buy one album, ne'er mind genre-gullies like cowpunk, this year** then poke yer neighbours eye & covet his dash and live every day like it's a season. A season in a hell of a good time, hale heart-wrenching to leave bad luck hanging. Spring just took a one step two step three step a-four. Quite stridently, simply, staggering. Golden days indeeds.
Stu Gibson

*If April really ain't too cruel then maybe The Whiskey Daredevils could make it two
**As above so below

Stu Gibson

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Skeletonwitch 'Breathing The Fire' Prosthectic Records

You would have to be Sawney Bean staked up in a cave to not have heard of Skeletonwitch thus far. For starters, they're absolutely one of the best things to have happened to thrash metal scene that was sought to be dead and buried after albums like, 'Rust In Peace' and 'Lights Camera Revolution' relased in the early nineties. With tolerable, tumultuous armor-strength speed, Skeletonwitch just do it for me and many others, as they deliver their heavy sermon with a dark vengenance against it's enemy; pop music and Christainity. I have had the honors in experiencing this band in the live flesh a fist full of times, and I would be blind not to see or deaf not hear their high metal magnitudes of velocity. They're currently collecting new fans under Cannibal Corspes cryptic empire while out on tour with them, and that could have had a little something to do with them supporting thier infamous cover act, Cannabis Corpse in past tours. Speaking of, just to name a few band names of stages shared with Skeletonwitch, Cephalic Carnage, Danzig, Dimmu Borgir, and Darkest Hour may very well put in a horns referral for you if necessary. Sometimes silence is man at his fiercest, and could be the terms use to describe the albums notierity because it might just leave you without vocabulary.These Athens, OH group wasted no time in unknown dirt roads and cornfields, Lead singer and priest of prime evil, Chance Garnette along with his blood and current assemblage built a fan base and foundation for themselves to stand on immediately with their debut album, 'Beyond The Permafrost' awakening names from beyond black metal graves. I wouldnt have much to gain from speaking hogwash, so I wont when saying Skeletonwitch are wicked metal wonders with just the right amount of sacraficing speed on 'Breathing The Fire' produced by Jack Endino who needs little introduction. Its tracks like these that really  bring forth my Celtic Druid Ancestry. Songs constructed around murder and more murder, as if just the murder wasn't murdering enough.The thing that sets Skeletonwitch aside from other current thrash metal acts, such as Municibal Waste and Toxic Holocaust, is the fierce and immenent force, that these cats could almost pass for Black Metal.I get thrilled every time a new underground band stinks up the scene with their ferocious death breath, lifeless lyrics and homemade metal regalia, simply because they remind me of dudes I would have been skipping high school with just to go worship the devil at the local forestry. Their the new reign or terror set to seige whats was once rightfully ours from the moment metal and stepped their steel toes down on a double bass drum pedal. Skeletonwitch are not going to be just another metal act pronounced dead at the beginning of the scene, when I see them rising to a promising high unyeilding tide in the Lake of Fire, and that there is most likely why the eat, shit and breath fire. I see much more evil than good coming from this band with 2009 Prostethic Record Release, and if they play their cards right, the Death Card will be all thats left after they conquer the metal industry single-handedly with spiked gauntlet wrists.

HIgh On Fire "Snakes Of The Divine" E1 Music

This could be it for our old fellow, faithful Sabbath-slayin' guitar sworsman, High On Fire. After headlining their own tours for the past two years that I've seen them, Matt Pike has literally made it for himself and the love of his life, this band and loose women. It hit me two days ago, on my friend, Omer's couch, listening to "Snakes Of The Divine" while watching them host Headbanger's Ball on MTV2 for the promotion of thier latest release, "Snakes Of The Divine" on E1Music that is out in stores now. No matter how much of a crusty, stoner punk rep Mr. Pike is liable to get from his faithful followers, this is a sharp boy grown legend, who lead High On Fire to the next level and deserves every bit of televised publicity and worldy recognition, a young Oakland California desert rat could acquire, even tho it nearly took a decade to acheive. Beside his side once again  and until the pitch black end, is one helluvah, prespiring, mini Lars Ulrich drummer named Dez Kensel who has more stamina behind the skins than on a Ron Jeremy set. Produced by Greg Fidelman whose work includes Slayer's, "World Painted Blood" and currently employing himself with Metallica's new album, HOF couldn't have slayed harder if they were standing in my living room, instead of instead of inside the television set.

For as long as I've known High On Fire when I met them touring in a Uhaul truck on tour with Superjoint Ritual, I admire thier inhibited, natural driven ability to concrete something, stick with it and prevail above those who sought to see them fail with strength and preservance.I assure you there were many times and plans that fell through, along with overwhelming thoughts of hopelessness and depression as if airing on a Zomig comerical, but as far as I can see the one thing they never lost touch with, besides heavy volts of electricity, is direction and this album is headed in similiar leads as thier past albums. They're self-taught, self-motivated, and self-producing with or withuot the help of metal's head cheeses, and I applaud their every genuine innovations to make the rock star status A-list, because I know they did it for no one but themselves and their love and dedication to the FIRE. Enough the with sappy saga speech and let's review this album,not thier arteries.

The first self-titled track induces several cold chills upon introduction to the massive, wooly mammath size sound that was brought to manifestation using Pike's precise and haphazardly placed music sheets.Hey, even Ensteins crib was a pigstye. You can guarantee High On Fire's practice space may be no cleaner than a stockyard. No matter the conspiracy theory, there is really no hidden agenda behind the album's lyrics and prophecies. Matt is an avid spokesperson for outter space and the exterestial civilization that ly ahead, but laugh, hide, lie and the pull the the wool over your eyes all you want, the man has been exploring the unexplained  since he's beginning days in Sleep and obviously is acting on his destined calling and role model as a strong public figure with something of substance to say. Vocals are throttling growls coming from the underworlds heaviest stoned spokemodel. With each new track I listen to the pace appears to pick up even faster than the last. No cheesy, unfit false fat metalheads with devilish tunes need to apply here. These are full grown, electric guitar Warlords that use words like "excalibar" and "conquisidor" to describe the subliminal images their own sound produces, so ask no futhermore. This is an album of apocolyptical proportions. Without any further ado, High On Fire is ready to take you the next level.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Left Lane Cruiser - All You Can Eat

So ya heard all the all punked up and out your blouse country blues fronted by soused, scorched vocal chorded carousers, cool cats? Well, chuck the shite wipes off Choctaw, or actually any, bridge & stop preening 'cos this is the stuff to spin you sinning through fields while yer baby buffs halos to drag Black Keys and such like onto meathooks. They even tie Bob Log to his own Bobloggian necktie as a novelty. For these guys avail songs amidst the slavver-burstin' avalanches. Sure, two-piece blues duos aren't so much de jour as dour so give blessings n' thanks, p'raps from a safe distance, to LLR & to the mothersmokin' BDH. Where the Black Diamond Heavies shoot dirty gospel into suburbia's pools, Freddy J IV and Brenn "Sausage Paw" Beck's scurvy-sassed cask-mangling cataclysm of apocalyptic backporch push n' pull meets n' mauls the street corner traditions of ancient dusty blues with hip-hop delivery. So what if a lot of it's indecipherable - aside from pleasingly frequent declarations to be, in fact, this very Left Lane Cruiser, Rock'n'Roll & yours Stuly be pretty damn sure that there's a line in there about Keith too - like swimming through Satan's own spittoon of souls and swollen limbs or asking for a drink by smashing the bar with a caber - or this fucker. While line-dancing on a landslide of log-spill somewhere in the middle of Montana. It's as intense & congregationally defying as any posse of Norwegian church burning black metal band-member-eating try-hards. And i'll stand on the devil's own god-damned (well, you'd hope twould be, wouldn't you?) hard shoulder - though, maybe with this pair on retainer - in my hairspray and howl such. The first song's called Crackalacka, the second Hillgrass Bluebilly, the penultimate Poopdeflex, the last an ode to their hometown - Waynedale. You call 'em goofy. They sure as shit ain't. Through the brutal brawn and bull-headed howlings scuttling the scabby so-called demons through turnstiles on the Styx built from their shudderfuck riff-rubble, there's gentility among the gruntabilly. Ol' Fashioned has the surly gentility of Guy Clark's Texas Cookin' only rawer and hanging skins to dry in a redoubt somewhere on sniper duty with Mississippi John Hurt.
Give it the hell up for hill grass & hick the fuck up. That'll be all. Read it from the end first.
Stu Gibson

Right down to the Parental Advisory labels, which, like, matter shit, and antiseptic Helga-from Allo Allo with-the hump cover, it's a case of old hands having a crack in sturdy amateurish manner. No doubt it's a dream come true. It's a fair crack at that in a Lita (By)Ford way (well, Sharyn Peach - well...they are from Florida, sort of near Georgia - is blond and it mentions Ford in the typically lame example of biographical prattle that should get ditched at summer school. Example, they aren't 'insanely cool guitar licks' but 1987 by numbers that the most tech-twat guitar mag woulda garotted at a hundredth of a harmonic and one's sardonic doppelganger suspects that their claim that younger bands seem to make up many of their fans suggests that it may be to secure equipment loans at future shows) but it still smacks of them sat around having watched American Idol with their kids and thought hey we could do that but let's do it our way. Because we are rock'n'roll rebels. Forever. Makes up in heart what it lacks in inspiration but it's still insipid and lifeless club-cringe fodder that Peach's platinum-piercing rawk-squawk - Kelly Clarkson could quite possibly stop the ensuing tsunami from whatever erupts outta Yellowstone or somewhere but has it ever crossed your mind to care? - can't lift out of the shiftless embers of stodge.
Stu Gibson

Thursday, February 11, 2010

BLAZE BAYLEY: At The End Of The Day - Lawrence Paterson

'Singing The Number Of The Beast onstage in Jerusalem...well, how can many people say they've done that?'

If you don't read anymore you got to say there's no arguing with that!! In the world of music books there are few, very and alarmingly so if the world wasn't so clogged with pointless bands - as many as pitiful celebrities writing biographies about their tireless toil to get an agent - that really do deserve the accolade of demanding the attention of anyone who ever had a passing interest in band-life or jumping / jumped into that pareticular pond of pleasure and poison. Uniquely written (in that it's written by him, he's not gone all Nick Cave or Irvine Welsh and written the bulk of it in Bayley's black country b(l)urr) by the drummer, it will more than just brush your teeth with a dirty drumstick next time you unleash traditional barrage of drummer jokes, that Mr Paterson is a World War Two historian means a better class of tour-guide than any written by band member tag would usually infer. A book of two halves, filling out the background of Bayley from the Black Country to Wolfsbane to Maiden to solo slog before shifting to first person when Paterson clambers aboard ship. Never self-congratulatory, nor a white-washing idolisation session of BB. Far from it. Indefatigably down to earth, if not tunnelling below it, it's brutally honest as it travels the minutaie of making it in music aside from X Factor la la lame llama land, including the admittance of falling for a musical equivalent of an internet lotto / long lost Nigerian cousin who's ascended the throne of a country that they'll invent when you send them your neighbours savings secured in his wife's leg socket scam that less secure folk would have barely alluded to, and lays bare the harsh realities facing / conspiring against everyone this, or that, deep in the trenches. Every piece that slips into place seems to come at massive personal cost. Many bands refer to being cursed but it does have its claws deep here. I mean, there's life lessons, and fucking hideous tragedy. As related here you'll come away full of respect and affection for them, especially BB and his attributes from not riding on the ex-Iron Maiden angle to his personal strength overturning devastation to ride out hallowed on a high at the bittersweetly triumphant end. Tis a torrential storm of struggle indeed. The only slight gripe some may encounter is the platter of 'no hard feelings wish them well' and 'bloody nice bloke' polititudes but it's actually rather pleasant that not everyone in la biz turns out to be an affected caricature with no self-awareness (and, lo, ain't that just one itselvis!?), and even if it does get a bit bogged-down in the backyard of band life and day to day touring travails of pizza and itinerary details, I still couldn't help thinking several times it really would make a hell of a documentary, like the Motorhead one a few years back. And I'd rather read Paterson's easy-going reflections from grass-roots than a tedious why-not-just-make-haggis-with-my-scrotum, many thanks, self-congratulatory / nothin' to say 'then we did an album, then went on tour, had someone to blow my nose and scratch my ring' scenario. It'll no doubt open a few eyes to the SAS-like endurance necessary to keep the machine moving and is a great stick to your guns saga (without getting all arms aloft Bon Jovi ballad style) that a small-scale band can survive and if not prosper at least to get some dustily just deserts for (literally in Blaze's case) giving all they've got. But with and without that it's one of the most enjoyable music books I've ever read, fuck its lack of industry formula-following, like we give a tootin' hoot about that. It's bushy-tailed, not overly blokey, but breezy jolly boys outings across the world tallying up tirades against passport controls and particularly Ryanair, with plenty of often refreshingly open-palmed piss-taking asides and humourous anecdotes from describing a singer in an old band as 'as non-speaking as Stephen Hawking supping a McDonald's thick shake' to the author's experience of being band-ridden with an odiously self-obsessed guitarist, whose band they dubbed Reggie Malmsteen's Rising Damp to Blaze's realisation that the post-Maiden day-job didn't exactly suit him to glorious Tap-tour moments like everyone being so geared up for a terrible, un-road-tested young drummer to mess up a song for a DVD release, that the guitarist made bollocknese out of it instead. There's much more of that in this refreshing, endearing, charmingly compelling book of wrestling wonder from woe and ultimately a reason to believe. Buy it while it's on a limited run and do likewise (believe, that is). Essential for any of us kings of the underdogs.

'I had always wanted to call the band Blaze Bayley...but nobody agreed. There's a hip-hop band called Blaze, there's a stripper called Blaze there's probably a bloody horse called Blaze..' - Mr Bayley's route to choosing a band name
Stu Gibson
Baseball Furies - Throw Them To The Lions
Big Neck

Viscerally bristlesome angular agitations of such gristle-gnawing garage gutter-punches from Chicago's blistered bowels with a national supply of unclear bunkers that they could fry bacon on your constipated, discombobulated internal assemblages, baying such mayhem that if you did throw these barstados to the lions they'd probably go bug-eyed with blithe glee before jumping in backwards to emerge bewigged with the lions hair branching out their ass Iggy ostrich feather style. Yuss, subterranean bone vs brick obtuse NYC-splintered splenetic slouch like Dead Boy Placemats dispersing primetime cuts that'd be banned from prim-brim Television and blinked at by Pere Ubu, possibly entombed in rockets and sentenced to forced repatriation to side-street safehouses, which only suffuses their already sanguine anger for when they next loiter in parking lots near the secure punk compounds. Dark, dank, dishevelled and creepy noir-notes from the homicide of life to be devoured readily, greedily and fucking graciously, goddamit, if not gracefully.
Stu Gibson
Billy Walton Band - Neon City

Well, I'll be blowed over and bowled into a bucket of blood in a fetching pink blouse before raising the bar dry in honour of these boys. At last someone has the burning boots to put a bushfire among the business manager bilge of my old bugbear of blues of the banal urbane variety. Sure, it isn't gonna cause any damn-ass sin sorta conversion but basically this rips outta with some hot braised blue-eyed soul and border-crossing boogie-funk that brandishes barbs at those still in the bewildered queue with their brand new keeping up with the baloney dishes, on a par with Southside Johnny with extra booted-up barracks of bristling guitar slink such is the muchos calibre hoss in this arsenal. Perhaps not as bar-baited as The Asbury Dukes but definitely signs that their heritage is in safe hands and by far the nearest and naturalistic beast to ZZ Ray Vaughan Zandt.
Stu Gibson

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Mass Cult Suicide - s/t

Mass Cult Suicide
Off the Hip

Mass Cult Suicide leader Dan Trolley is a character. Out of what novel or flick it’s hard to say, but he’s definitely not one of us. The Australian singer/songwriter/keyboardist has the veneer of a hard-bitten lounge lizard, a guy who’s wiser than his years due to everything he’s seen and done. But world-weariness is not the jacket he wears – he’s too busy trying to get in the pants of every woman in the bar to wallow in self-pity. He guides the noisy groove of his band with a sure hand, no matter how much he’s had to drink – the booze only steadies his gait. There’s a definite strain borrowed from barroom philosophizers like Nick Cave and Gallon Drunk, but the musicians’ aggression owes more to the Stooges, the Velvet Underground and the Cramps. The band even throws in some Sonic Youth skronk on occasion. It’s an appropriate soundtrack to Trolley’s blurred visions, illuminated by a streak of dark introspection running through tunes like Last Night I Got Drunk, Where is the Fun? and Everybody’s in Debt (ain’t it the truth). But Trolley hasn’t been beaten down – he rises up from the floor after every thrashing life gives him, pulling out his comb, winking at the ladies and calling for another round.

- Michael Toland
Cliff Richard - Just About As Good As It Gets
Smith & Co

Ok so in this instance the series' title is oxymoronic enough to stump the most erudite Oxford professor / philosopher but if ever there were a case for Lemmy's maxim of there's two types of music good and shit then here is one. Leavin' aside the never-too-snide snipes at the self-sanctifying unctuous git and the shadow cast by his egregiousness smugacity he really was the UK's contender for Rock-crown with dad of Kim so thankin' ye kindly Marty Wilde. As comical the gulf between he and Elvis that surpassed every ocean is now (it's still shudderingly queasyical to recall the sight of him casting himself as some kind of anti-establishment hero stood side by sideburn with Elvis in rocks early days in a documentary several years ago), I'm sure these were taken as the neutered slop they are by any rocker worth their proverbial salt n' oats right back then (my Mam, for one, has always detested him. Vehemently. With added vexacious paroxysms of vitriol. Obviously I've put such possible pre-natal influence quietly aside here). These late fifties early recordings, alas, for all the surly impressionisms, are still quaintly polite English renditions of the wild-cat rockin from Elvis n' Eddie and the ilkley like that can't be bartered with as emasculated saccharine suffocates any ferocity from Twenty Flight Rock, Mean Woman Blues and a caustic-less cabaret of Blue Suede Shoes along with unsurprisingly unspectacularly stale lunges at Jerry Lee staples High School Confidential and Great Balls Of Fire. Likewise I'm Walkin' and I Gotta Know are reduced to just pleasant picnic cream-cake eating at Butlins, the sheer joy is largely missing, or any real hurt or hardship that'd make Billy Fury so beloved. It's so hard to separate the career-horse he was about to become and thence remained from any to assess the practised pouting on paltry pickings like with honourable objectivity, but Disc Two demonstrates some swivelsome hip n' lip curling n' curving you and your Auntie and Uncle Naysayer may get all Spock-eyed about on versions of My Babe (a personal rave, cats, so I'm really being, um, charitable here, Christian, even), I Got A Feeling, Ready Teddy, Too Much (unless it was the cocoa and marmite) and perhaps, appropriately, Don't Bug Me Baby, which shows some real attitude at last. Though The Stones reappraising Chuck n' co it ain't, though perhaps it riled Keith enough to spur the polar opposite in the namesake stakes onwards. Everyone with an ear bent on rockin will appreciate the sterling early reverb-laden lollops of chirpy riffolata cha-cha from Hank B Marvin, especially the western-themed instrumentals Driftin' and Jet Black. However, as with all UK rockin' it's remains a curio and largely irrelevant apart from Move It, lacking fire, sparkle and vim overall. Thus still one for the racier Chris De Burgh acolyte.
Stu Gibson
The Tenebrous Liar - Jackknifed & Slaughtered
TV Records

Whatever yours Stuly's musings on Joy Divisions veritably unverifiable merits they really did scruffle out of punk's dying embers. It's no inestimable stretch to state these Midlands nightmare breeding mood massacrists, masochists and slouched-laden sadists do similar in being about the only band of these easy over-Order referencing times to take the doleful lumber-lunges and bleed new life into the bronchioles even as they die nonchalantly on razorwire in no mans land, their atonal decapitatory incants recalling Aussie tragedians The Drones and Sidewalk Regrets in the process, with touches of Boces era Mercury Rev, Paul Westerberg and even that rare early glimpse of Hole's caustic skin-stripping promise on Drown Soda. Similarly setting the literate against the grenade-rigged gateposts of existential lo-fi and harsh-insight this starts fairly effusively, ragged-right? yet raging, seeething, on the sardonic scabrosity. Jagged rib-scrapes of drastically dislocated country-cloaked sludge follow like an unremitting lava-flow until the whole creaking shack suddenly splits asunder and shatters gloriously under the straining shackles of the era-eradicating, titanic title-track as the bag of broiling blues that ebbs and spurts in sweltering cascades from some fissure, spluttering spastic cockroach crawl where volcanic feedback scratches scathing shards that erupt like colossal forest fires in fields of Fenders. Magnificently portentous and tumultuously potent with scant evidence of And The Band Used The Bad Seeds As A Bible - though perhaps where anything spaghetti western began being labelled Tarantino-esque and Cave and Bad Seed Warren Ellis score movies like The Assassination Of Jesse James and The Road, this wouldn't be out of place soundtracking Cormac's crestfallen, bleak, blasted worldviews. As defiantly dislocated as dour, die-hard deviance should be.
Stu Gibson

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Naughty Boys - Destiny Calls

After the diabolique bollock majestdickum that is/was the the tiswas pisspot-less episode of Spank I resolutely avowed that my mission of completely impartial, non-judgemental, cack-eyed, cloth-eared music-hack of indiscreet vitriol was to cleverly assert acerbically that no you're not the Electric Boys, not even the Bulletboys. Not just cos I'm sick of mentioning the bloody boys what deserve chav bulldogs be set upon them, but I mused on imploring for the love of John Sykes to save some money and barter for Tattooed Love Boys, or even Pretenders 2 with that track on, or hum a few bars of The Boys Are Back In Town get the drift. Well, that's what I was gonna do, pondering my mirthless massacre at my workbench but well, oh I just did. The opening brace almost brought about slight return of rejoices that if you need proof in the pudding (or stew) plump your trust in a Swede, indeeds, though this is yet another notch on charisma-free cavern walls where soooo many of this current crop of classic rock crud scrape themselves off to go recording in their self-sanctifying air-conditioned conservative trattorias. I mean it's such that snide indie snifflers seem overly and esoterically sparkly - enuff to stretch seven secret Colombian airfields worth of incredulity about. Amazing. John Cusack got aboard the world is nigh conspiracy ship when there's such matters to contend with. By track three we're in (I would say sadly but...) such simpering slumber-sludge they fall into the slop marked 'deserving of a sledgehammering from Zeke' as it's simply manufactured, telegraphed tell-tale soporific plod with all the excitement and passion of a lobotomised sloth and thus at best it might resemble the Survivor of a Bonfire not Backyard Babies itching Alleycat Scratches with Faster Pussycat, or even having a bevvy over Bminors with Richie Sambora that can never lift the lingering odour of workmanlike showcase sores.
Stu Gibson
Spank - Get Bent
Spank Independent

Not sure by the name whether it's some band of half bank-clerk / half chartered accountant cabriolet queer-core but it's not even Pablo Cruise never mind Gay For Johnny Depp. I mean, whaddya expect? Anything but (ahaaa!) a bad joke of mindless boardroom genetically-mummified mitherings. Really, why bother? Maybe they thought it'd get them attention and if it's just to sell at local gigs at the village fete then fuck me with Gordon Ramsay's prize pea-masher they'll be the toast of the town in no time. Mark my words in Egyptian bas relief for eternity. One or two of 'em may even get to fondle a farmers daughter after her shift in the pub and have something to brag about at the rugby club for a weekend. Unbelievable how lifelessly bland the backing is what with the soul-leeching, creativity-crushing vacuum they flaccidly work on right up to the chest-thrusting throaty vocals that smack of Coverdale pumping iron and stifling a wank while weighing-up his guns. Awful. The high-water mark from the bottomless barrel of baleful butterscotch in the barn suckery. Have fun guys. Better start smacking each other guys. Get bent? You got it gang. Get buggered.
Stu Gibson
Hellbilly Club - Zombie Faces

Stripped near as dammit to the speed-gnawed jaw-burn dose of old-skull psychobilly dug outta evil Espagna. Sure, it's not an unholy hellouch slap of surprise - singer / guitar-stinger Santi is nay hoodwinking slouch either such that the ultra spartan mix could really use a replenishing twist of guitar silver-heartchoke. If you're burdened with too much beast beat-broth with titles like Psychobilly Psychokiller then this is more of an incidental off-camera hammer-bang to an extras head than a party slaked on Demented Are Go's PVC Chair. However, hellhoppers, they do manage to still add a shades of their own batty atmosphere to the soup, with vocals recalling Peter Murphy more than the halibut-slapped Soft Cell that the sleeve resembles, and could be just what the Hangmen ordered if you're ever-drawn to that quarter.
Stu Gibson
The Lucky Strikes - The Chronicles Of Solomon Quick

Forget the Medway Delta and hick the fuck up as these young four-ply posse-whippers filter out the Essex estuary, scarcely sniffing Thee Vicars' wine and having scant necessity to recognise Childish of Chatham. They may well be from the spiritual home of the blues in these bisles but this more than strides purposefully out of those harbours and along highways of their own hewing. In turning over their western-garage-country-blues to an epic soundtrack of southern harmony and rich, ribald and evocative tales they till a rich pile of soil indeeds and dust, and retire to multi-storey garages on vast estates in a country barely contained by their infectious confidence.
These chronicles comprise a concept loosely based on the fictional account of Robert Johnson's murder(er). Tis a sprawling but eloquently concise cut-up collection of luckless lustfilled fools and bullet-laden betrayals that conjure the civil war epoch's crossed swords of Jayhawkers, the James Gang, Josey Wales and juke-joints as much as crossroads and poison whiskey. It's not the turn thy aching hip to the southern sun you could charge 'em with either as it tallies up true. So, syllable-slurrer Jesse Vance (yass, ok, forgive 'em - Lefty, Reuben and, um, Jeffrey 'Buck' too - though if that be their given names then all the more reason for 'em claiming their birthright with this) may sound on the youthful side for such material, though, hey, pardner JUST BECAUSE YOU ADOPT A TOM WAITS GROWL INSTEAD OF YOUR WEEDY CHARACTERLESS WHINE DOES NOT CONVEY SAGACITY FROM A LIFETIME HOPPING RAILS so top hats off to Mr Vance and give him his own radio show.
So what's in this store? Well, a big store it be, too. No bullshit, boards of wood awaiting being made into coffins at Clint's instruction for your band. Startling Western adventures from the Mississippi burning dry Dixie-deluges such as the swirling Second Act (Funeral) to ecstatic Standells stomps on Eyes On You (which, incidentally, has tucked away down the inside pocket of it's longcoat just before the chorus, one of the best notes in recorded history, rated in my almanac of stuperfluous info alongside John Lee Hookers Dimples or the slide diinnng in The Stones' Jigsaw Puzzle) that they outweigh with the following epochalyptical caterwaul One Eyed Sam as it combines their eerie Gun Club cordite and charred calico bonnets as The Band rummage through crippled carriages. There's the frequent stench of the cinematic suicide raid from The Long Riders on Main Street as they lurch in outta the dust cloud storm leaving your soul at the door whence scenes stop as 45's ricochet round your freshly-lubricated neck as pounding garage glides to rustic Byrds beauty on last clinch crescendo One Way Down (this is particularly transcendently sublime) and Sweet December, and the Sweet Virginia-esque rival to Dead Flowers sunset waltz that is the reflective Going Out West which transcends it's creaky cliche with bleakly beautiful peaks and pitfalls. Quite ambitious, but ambidextrously so and almost chillingly preternatural in it's nigh-insouciantly authentic cataclysm - hell, they even manage to pull of the easily cringeworthy spoken word passages that intersect about every quarter of the appropriate thirteen track spread.
The Black Crowes were ladled with plaudits for The Southern Harmony & Musical Companion (deservedly, if my 16 year old dead cells recall adequately), a band from the almost geographically alike straits of these borders should be glorified. Oh, they just have been. This is stupendous such that I might go and shelter in my boots. Really great, came out last summer, sorry, you shoulda had it for Christmas, it's okay, you've got till Easter to avoid seven casks of fuckscuppery to descend in a smoky blast. Please allow The Lucky Strikes to shine a light your way.
Stu Gibson

Monday, February 08, 2010

Bunny Tales: Behind Closed Doors At The Playboy Mansion - Isabella St. James
Running Press

'We often wonder why he did it at all. Why bother with this whole charade?' - from the wisdom of St. James

Well, well, well I'll be damned if I don't avow this erstwhile book of latent revelation about as well, as rip-roaringly titillating as the author herself as she happily pleasures herself on a high-horse some heroin-addled higher power divined she could hop along on. It may be of little surprise that this is a tawdry little cash-in, but she could at least have given it to someone to write who was funny, to lighten the intergalactic vacuity and patronising patter ('you'd be surprised how many girls we met who, inside two minutes, would want to come home with us'. Scuse me while I burst, m'dear). Guess she didn't manage to procure such contacts through her martyr like time as moral medusa of the Malibu nirvana. It's not like anyone's gonna expect The Dirt, or even News of the World / National Enquirer, amid choruses of oooh I always imagined what might go on chez Hef, please tell me? At first I chuckled at the 'oh of course you went to law school, that is why you entertainingly, sorry, educationallitically put quotes from Milton and writers from long ago which have even longerer names and stuff atop the chapters', then after the requisite three-to-five seconds it clicks like a Belfast kneecapping. Strong in you the lawyer instinct is. Grab money off old Hef while you can then pitch a bitch cat-calling tell-some under the guise of oooh I'd not really want to but since you ask - it was all them other nasty trashy girls. Sure, Hefner may be a deluded old rich guy living out geek fantasies but she's proof that that ain't exactly, or partly, all it's cracked up to be behind the facade, which she frequently pretends to be startled about. I mean, haul me to court with a surgeons scalpel pointed someplace perilous but our Polish/Canadian (NOT American, as she keeps reminding us, cos, like she's cultured and shit) pouting poultry resembles Vince Neil been shoved through the back-end of one of her precious little pug dogs (and yes, who paid for them puppies, huh?). Unsurprisingly a far sadder depiction of a self-satisfied little princess than an aging lothario, whether of the hype or the hang. Should you be suitably arsed either way. Though if it gets you through the Sunday late shift it's worth it near the end for her exchange with Hugh that precipitated her departure when after as painstakingly as possible depicting herself as the tough, headstrong heroine she bursts into tears and screeches 'You always choose their side'. Ace, I'm off to get a Melrose Place box-set. Taraaa.
Stu Gibson
Dust And Bones - Voodoo

Have you ever wondered if the world what with it being this day & age and all needs another band of bleach-jeaned beachcomb-overs with money to burn on production bills but scantily clad creatively resulting in a well rehearsed but tawdrily tired, self-consciously lascivious slop dribbling from the twin over-nibbled titties of Aerosmith and AC/DC such that cliches clutter your speakers enough to make the bland, barely discernible mark in rock's alley left by Bulletboys seem unavoidably barren all of a sudden? No? Thought not, lucky barstads. I just did. Don't bother. Like you'd need telling. 'One foot in the gutter / one foot in the grave', the strip, dirty needs, sleazy needs, sunset till sunrise, etc etc. For all its blustering personality bypass, or maybe moreso because of it, deplorable. It may be depressing if not for Big Neck et al. Voodoo, my burnt tea.
Stu Gibson
The Sworn Liars - Vile Device
Big Neck

Gloriously sulfurious surf-a-rolla through your solar plexus from these German gourmandising gruelzillas. A jolly Dead Kennedy Cool Germ jerk hatchet job of horrorpop spewing plasma rays in yer palm springs, babes and blobs from a barbedin-brain basement bunker that sure is about the best twenty minutes you could have without breaking your back. In the catastophically over-clogged cess-pool in need of some certain sonic dismemberment that is the whole corpse-paint crowd these ditch-dwelling Devo-looters rage as they schizophrenically eviscerate goth on a bed of it's own Germs, chuck up Dead Boys out of B-52's, burn all your Damned flags black while filling your flagons and boots with bile. Casting off with a long over-subscribed descriptive clod of chainsaw guitars has scarcely felt so ecstatic. Awesome goresome everywhere, lots of bilge for your binge-brown there, for once more Big Neck provide the derangement break custom-made for your crushed cortex.
Stu Gibson
Edge Of Forever - Another Paradise

Blimey, this sort of muck almost demands a reimagining of Magnum. But you wouldn't would you? No doubt sells grease-ladling fuckloads in Italy. But so did Spagna. Still does I hideously imagine. Shame as the cover suggests some heroic battle metal is about to rain down - aside from that the best bit was the three-second smirk that ensued with the namecheck thanking coincidentally (I assume) named ex-member Bob Harris - I assume tis not the BBC DJ. Indeed vocalist Alessandro Del Vecchio (ok, he's probably pulled your girlfriend already, Bon Jovi babe or not) has a shriek that could crinkle chainmail across continents, but as it stands this is stock Euro-AOR full of overbearing banality that gives a Bryan Adams ballad added bite and as such deserves less latitude n' leeway than the emphatically cack-tittedly titled currency, moreso when such slack-intentioned stab at hit single in the guise of the cover of countryman Georgio Moroder's Flashdance theme-tune shows Edge Of Forever as, once again, little more than X Factor fodder.
Stu Gibson

Saturday, February 06, 2010

The Scotland Yard Gospel Choir - ...and the horse you rode in on

'I hope that you catch syphilis and die alone...' - Stop!

Stop me, stop me, stop me, if you think you've heard this one before indeed could well be the main course here on first perusal, but how about that for an opening album, or any, line, eh, Moz? That this Chicago based bunch are close to a rampant pastiche of cringing indie hand-wringing but far surpass it is to channel it back across the ocean to, thematically at least, be reminiscent of Violent Femmes monstrous first stumble, is just testament to their intelligence and bitter brio of their black humour. With massive debts to The Smiths and especially Pulp, though it may be little surprise that leader Elia is Welsh-reared as they pull off with such dour and overwrought humour it could really be written in a bleak, broken down barn overlooking the Yorkshire Dales, or just Bradford. I Pretend She's You could pass for one of Jarvis's Babies surely, at least cause him to whistle harkingly while looking aghast over the top of his horn-rims across the restaurant even perhaps causing him to brazenly put down the menu he'd been nonchalantly blithering behind and bound over bambily and shower beard-crumbs their way. Mind you, they may just then sniff his armpit hair and offer their own deoderants. One Night Stand is a spliced coupling of Common People and Year 2000 but there's such lovely self-scouring scabrously scalding lyrics of squalid love, break-ups and downs and dour self-deprecating admissions of depression ('Oh Lee, maybe I'm going crazy / but I think I could love you forever...God I sound like such a sad bastard') and missives to pathetic lachrymosity ('Now me, I'm tearingup at 40s love songs / At Spector I lose it completely') mixed with athletic lyrical observational wit absolutely splattered with panache and plenty of side dishes - petri and other pathological platitudes - some beautiful female vocals (assumedly courtesy of Mary Ralph) recalling Max Edie on Nikki Sudden's Chelsea Embankment and that Whole Of The Moon song and splashes of violin adding deliciously wistful strains of a young Van Morrison trashing Wedding Presents that evenS the slight, last-ditch detour to some bar where Kaiser Chiefs rule the jukebox (Tear Down The Opera House) can't stop this being a wondrously bathetic whirl through someone else's misery guts.

'Think I'll bring down the government
But I'd rather go home and get back into bed' - Tear Down The Opera House
Stu Gibson
S.E.X. Department - Rock N Roll Suicide

Ok so they put an extra three seconds into thinking up their police outfit image but surely CC Deville doesn't need any help to piss on what paltry legacy Poison have/had. Yes, in this parallel dimesnion where trash-rock templates are traded in school playgrounds like football sticker books and cut-out-and-keep stereotypes of eighties hair-metal frogs are collected on backs of cereal boxes CC is an evil scientist responsible for this one-man clone army. But, the great twerp couldn't even inject any personality into this incarnation, never mind any other slanderous inferences. My imagination is aroused only so far as to relish the thought of what would have happened to the poor old dust-mite if he'd have walked into the sessions for I Remember You, which is what the power ballad by bumblers Back My Uniform sounds like. Sadly SD is actually a great deal better than much befuddlesome dreck that comes out the constipated colon of the curious escalation of cock-rot rock but still makes Brett Michaels seem like a genius. Hell, it makes Vince Neil seem soulful. If Chris Holmes pissed on their tour bus then they'd maybe get a column inch in National Enquirer, though it'd more likely be tears of hysterical laughter at Wasted In Texas's limp 'homage'. So, maybe you don't need Stax out of stack-heeled kak but until something contains at least a smudge of the effervescent excitement of Talk Dirty To Me, Love Drag Years or Girls, Girls, Girls then it's goodnight and good luck gang. There's nary a nasal hair of amusement here, all tongue and no cheek, what there is amounts to Sexy Cab sounding more like 'Sexy Cavities', perhaps analagous to the whole thing being like the old cliche of chat-lines helmed by senior citizens in place of the screaming for more teen-whore like a stuck recording of Christine Sixteen. Beyond pastiche. File under piles of other pap.
Stu Gibson
The Bottle Rockets - Lean Forward

'And I know when I look in the mirror and staring back is the reason
I just can't seem to get myself off the floor
And I know - I've done it all before' - Done It All

Umpteenth album for alt.americana sussed-up southern out-riders still tackling road tales of reminisce and regret whether the hot-railed Diddley bow of Nothin' But A Driver ('Cadillacs and Lincolns all day long I ride / Happy on a wage that may lead you to suicide - But I'm happier than you are'), drop jowls and be damned if Done It All ain't but the bleary eyeball rolling elder brother of Tex & The Horseheads I'll Quit Tomorrow with vitriolic blasts at global politics through local issues (Kid Next Door). Wired up with wry humour ('Hard times that's nuthin' / Hard times pass / I aren't broken down I'm just outta gas' or 'Been a mile high for nearly a week / It's gonna wear off below 1200 feet') ), tanked to all states of temerity and twenty-sum types of gas and gumption many can't gather let alone guzzle with many of the things that makes The Georgia Satellites and The Replacements s-s-s-still so lean and evergreen with lashings of Little Feat's bigfoot stomp and Dave Edmunds Johnnie Walker wisdom all round from opening diesel-incision The Long Way slugging it out with Skynyrd skylines and JJ Cale respectively on introspective Solitaire and warning in the darkness dawning closer Give Me Room, all showing that road hogs can grow weary but not grizzled - just gristlier. Thusly and of course an open-topped yussly, one sure fire-cracklin' scorcher, sirs, squires and missdresses.

'A short cut through Utah doesn't mean a bad trip..' - The Long Way
Stu Gibson
Nikki Sudden & Phil Schoenfelt - Golden Vanity
Easy Action

Recorded in 1998 in a Berlin bunker this prized artefact and very dusty relic from these two ex-pat troubadourin' English outlaws and ever elegantly delapidated dandies finally surfaces after being lost to all seas, several hues of smoke and scratched masters. A welcome resurrection from fabled dereliction indeed by Easy Action's songwriter imprint Troubadour as, virtues be extolled and hats liberally festooned with feathers for this is a free-flowing ship encompassing several aspects, strides and tides of Sudden's work. With no traces of the dread vanity project, the perhaps lesser-known Schoenfelt is definitely a partner in crime and no mere foil - equal if not moreso, though in a style less flagrant than old Jacobites compadre Dave Kusworth. Since that sparring partnership split asunder Sudden's solo work increasingly cavaliered across country straits only previously hinted at for better and worse (suffice to say that Wild Horses on mid-eighties curio Crown Of Thorns isn't the best cover version...(he) ever did), hooking up with REm minus Michael Stipe on 1990's The Jewel Thief and memebers of Wilco on '98's Red Brocade (whose Broken Door is here as Golden Door). Had it been released at the time, Golden Vanity would have marked a departure of sorts for the times, harking back as it does to those halcyon Jacobites days of Robespierre's Velvet Basement and ensuing solo work, especially its dark-eyed, hanging by a thread bearing.
Bookended and interspersed with the Mott-stomp n' Thunders-boogie bawl the Dollshouse down to the Velvet Underground of Hanoi Jane and Love Makes Her Shine and experimental noise shards Portcullis / Cullisport (see what they did there?) via midway ten-minute freeform marathon Jamboree Bag belying Sudden's earliest Swell Maps work aswell as Schoenfeld's apprenticeships in New York's early eighties art-rock scene with Lydia Lunch and Sonic Youth (as well as Nikki and brother Epic Soundtrack's love of Alex Chilton), it's the bedraggled balladry depicting tainted fairytales and fading dram-damned glambitions that are by far the more beguiling bounties to bear repeat begs from this banquet table. Out in the hall scurrying in and out the shadows of Crazy Horse-style gravel paths criss-crossing countryroads, Cloak Of Virtue, Hangman's Daughter and Angel Wings have them swapping verses, their distinctive decaying drawls draping round each others shoulders like Bowie and Ronson in shock-pop '72. Schoenfelt shares a similar disinclination for vocal exactness, intoning his narratives with a Nick Cave-type demeanour in contrast to Sudden's Dylan-y disposition. His wintry Waiting For You is both centre-piece and contender for centre-stage, its ashen rememberances more than a cursory cast-adrift dalliance, symbolising the resonance of this recording.
It may be a cliche in a class that some would stain at least one of this pair with but this serves as a fitting tribute as well as introduction and lost treasure trove for devotees. Acolytes will revel in eternal fan, naawww, veritable, proverbial electric courier Sudden being never more than a (blagged) round from unfurling his ragged roll-call of references. Whether the blatant vocal Bolan affectations, musical and, um, marital (Maria McKee once more receives mention as on The Jacobites Travelling European Blues) of Hanoi Jane or the love-ode to the Tyranno-Slider that is Bang A Gong as well as Cloak Of Virtue's lyrical allusion, nee steal, of old chum Mike Scott's All The Things She Gave Me, they're always endearing nods by which he's ever self-referential as well as reverential - ...Jane is seduced with the Going To A Go Go riff that crashed on the rocks of Texas's re-recording of Waiting On Egypt's Back To The Coast; Jack Ketch having more than the last lingering lung-rattle of the formers Death Is Hanging Over Me (a collaboration with recently deceased Roland S Howard) - as does, atmospherically, much ofd this recording - and Angel Wings resembles a more decadent Blond Angel from Jacobites late period masterpiece God Save Us Poor Sinners.
Throughout, it's a thrilling tilt and twirl to the edge, casting eyes over crumbling coastlines, brittle but boneshaking, bruised but unbuckled, scarred but effervescently soaked to the bone. A delightful glimpse into decadent antechambers cluttered with the debris fallen from stained scarves and sleeves singed on flickering candles and stark romances snatched from gutters of sidelong glances underneath someone else's stairs.
Stu Gibson
Ha Ha Tonka - Novel Sounds of the Nouveau South

'We're just under funded studies in our own mythologies' - Thoreau In The Woods

'Oh I know you buried the hatchet because you buried me right beside it' - Hold My Feet To The Fire

An ambitiously titled record if ever there was one and a concept one at that from these Southern countryskied, indie-neck college rockers, especially for one that has alarming elements of Kings of Leon along with its Wilco plaudits and, more lyrically than musical, Old 97's. The first at least can be levelled then insouciantly sloped off as soon as the surface is shaken even slightly by the darkly literate lava that resembles a less livid Gareth Lillard of The Drones and pleasingly doesn't trail off into 'I've read Wise Blood, me' American / Southern gothic typicalities. Sure, they share a vocal inflection or two with the blousy FollowBonototheHills boyos but bear the weighty furrows of thought not pouting pram-bashing rattle-trashing tantrums. Based on a novel (The Shepherd Of The Hills by one Harold Bell Wright) set in their own home regions of the Ozark mountains about a guy who secludes himself from city strife in the old hills, it's an intriguing and encompassing adventure that rewards perseverance. While cowpunk apostles will have scant pickings in its professorial study rooms there's still the grit of Drive By Truckers and bar-bait of The Hold Steady alongside gospel and revival garnishes with acoustic pickery, besides such discreetly thrilling song titles as Walking On The Devils Backbone, Hold My Feet To The Fire and Close Every Valve To Your Bleeding Heart delve into civil war, racism and uncomfortable questions and truths. Without the scholarly stripes the Kings of Leon calls may be more legion, though still undeserved.
Stu Gibson

Friday, February 05, 2010

Mama Rosin - Brule Lentement
Voodoo Rhythm

Second album in for Genevans Mama Rosin and sure as Bobby Gillespie sings 'I'm yours / Your Mine / Gimme more of that German wine' on Jailbird, it largely depends on how much creaking cajun you can shuck in your stinky socks till they split like guts on invasion sand or eggs n' grease at all day breakfasts from Bakersfield to Batley and broken bones in bars you don't wanna move bowels in never mind brawl in as to how you'll fare with this great big platter of love's consumptive and discordant clatter. Fate be with you, for this should be summoned by every country cat, blues bombardiers and punk pickets or picnickers of all drainpipes and pinstripes. Yiss. Cajun, right? The bonkers, broken shoulder-bladed hollerings of seismically sluiced French-descended degenrates bouncing like ball-bearings down back-porches on pre-industrial bath-tub somethin-a-mines lamenting lost to mental and as-yet-fermented turmoils dogs of all descriptions, right? To the caterwauling crescent-moon colliding accordion crunch and keeling-over keen of a guy lost in midnight delirium on alcohol, crying on the ceiling or combine harvester amidst the cerebellum? Yeah, only this is more so, just doubly, trebly till yer tiltn' n' trembly all-sore-over whatsoever all abouts thy torso churning new contortions outta what passes for internal organs with the added griddlings of rickety-raggedy rock and European folk flare.
This exceptional trio may hark back to the source and whilst initially playing with what you can take for a modern, punk-bristle, it's still the same energy, they're true to the roots of this music, there ain't any suspicions of 'Hey, I've got an idea, you know what everyone and his dying rodent are doing with da blues, let's do that wiiith (flip through thesaurus of musical genres)...cajun. Corner the market in that'. Not at all. This rings so true it deserves to be played to all and sundry till they capitulate. Take it to the desert, man, stakeout the streets.
Maybe the cover signals a love of Velvet Underground, maybe they're just fucking with the arty douche-dribblers who'll mistake it for a Velvets bootleg and suffer their aching hip to be dislocated at the high altar of fuckscuppery as their insides wither under the cajones-chomping cajun-jalopy chilli cascade within. Whichever way will went, no way could Lou Reed in all his louche idylls alight on anything so scrumptiously scrambled, judiciously and juicily jamble-eyed so waylaid you'll be crawling, daddy, and...anyhip, enough bad-good but not nearly evil enough press for old Louie screw-you-ey-aye-o this is an inspiring incant to descant at once, invigorating jig, jugged and juiced-up or not, be damned. Fun intermingles with elemental sentiment in ze sediments throughout, though especially on J'Vas Mon Chemin and You Stole My Motorcycle - all Hang On Sloopy slipping away down carnival sidestreets and they cover equally wondrously unstable labelmates Movie Star Junkies' Dead Love Rag. As with labelhead Lightning Beatman's garage gut-gashing solo gospel and band The Monsters, bluegrass honky-tonkers Zeno Tornado and the Boney Google Brothers plus spacehawks Roy and the Devils Motorcycle, Swiss waters sure run deep and the good times will roll on regardless. So sublime as to make you almost human again, I surmise. Sod it, I'm done, stunned, surplus to your purchase. So beat me big mama, at the end of the bar.
Stu Gibson
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