Rising from the ashes slept in and the dregs drained one drunken night in 2002 stride, stagger and stumble these basement blues from hombres DD Dynamite and Trashtown Thrillers / Koma Katz head-hoss Craigey Swagger / Cragnet Bastard, who pulled on several slugs of only the most nefarious nectar and adopted a suitably trolleyed banner. Split about half n' half betwixt the two, these sixteen songs can be swilled in one fluid, almost interchangeable measure, kinda likeThe Jacobites, and the home recording doesn't make them cheap Lidl fizz, more a mournful mariachi's campfire of stately disrepair, where no flame melts these regrets into chewily digestible marshmallow chunks, but where chords cast crooked glances askance at anyone who gets too close from beneath their hat-brim. Well-versed, if not reared from birth, in the troubadours taverns and highwaymen's hovels, the grainy, red-rimmed n' dirty-eyed sandpaper scrapings lend a real authentic hazy hue to these horizon-less vistas stared into while impaled on a hangover something like being crucified 'pon a cactus, whether you're hearing them in Portsmouth (where they were recorded) or drifting on whatever high plains the morrow found ye on, or above. So there's tons of minesweeping and rounds' cadged but there's also some great guitar playing and songs that serve as a scrapbook of tattered hearts and odes to wrong turns that merit many a nicotine stained thumb-print through. While the soused n' sluiced nature of the recording may chafe a few ears amidst some inevitably too sloppy for slurs moments there's treasure in this 'ere chest for those walking on crooked heels with collars high, wearing some long-gone lady's colours along lonesome trails forged by her waltz of disregard.
- Stu Gibson