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
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