Sunday, February 06, 2011

JPT Scare Band- Acid Blues Is The White Man's Burden

JPT Scare Band
Acid Blues Is The White Man's Burden
Ripple Music

This is a compilation of various songs and eras of the JPT Scare Band; an act that's somewhat lost and overlooked in the classic rock revolution (a release courtesy of Ripple Music, who have also unearthed Poobah's "Let Me In" last year as well). The packaging is nice with the glossy finish, and the liner notes elaborate exactly what the songs are about and when they were recorded, giving a nice context to what's going on musically. You have some songs from 2004 and as far back as 1974, so there's a bit here for everyone and is a great starting point for fans looking to get into the band. My personal favorite ones are probably the older jam based ones. The songs are mostly longer, from the 7-10 minute range, and the shortest track is 4:56 long, so fans of jam based blues would most likely dig the expansive and meandering grooves within this disc.

It starts off with "Long Day", a bluesier and somewhat more reflective track, with some guitar god solos courtesy of singer/ guitarist Terry Swope. "Not My Fault" is probably my favorite track, with a Southern Rock soul type of feel, kind of Skynyrd-esque with organ and female backing vocals, plus more excellent guitar soloing. I would have probably started the disc off with "Not My Fault", as it's the shortest and catchiest song on here, but hey, that's just me. "Death Letter 2001" is a heavier riff based track and is a cover of Son House's song; eventually speeding up to a fever pitch towards the end of the proceedings.

One thing that's pretty cool about the JPT Scare Band is that they don't spend alot of time on fancy overdubs or studio trickery, most of the record has a really live off the floor feel where there's not even a second rhythm guitar track to beef things up, it's all indicative of what the band sounds like, I guess, in their rehearsal space--bass in one speaker, guitar in the other, drums and vocals up the middle channel. Which is fitting, since there is a basement jam in the form of "Amy's Blue Day"--an instrumental corker--I dunno whether alot of the playing was improvised or not, but considering that it's a long track that's seemingly improvised, it doesn't sound sloppy or needlessly wandering, which is pretty difficult to do for jam based material (the tape having run out before the band finished the song, as the liner notes state). "Stone House Blues" has a huge and expansive groove that's similar to the other mid 70's inclusions on here. The secret weapon on these tracks, though, is bassist Jeff Littrell, who fills up the absence of a second guitarist with the right and massive notes to fill in all the missing spaces when it's needed, and even sometimes when it's not!

Overall, the band in their verse/ chorus/ verse mode is fairly reminiscent of early 70's Blue Cheer, with some Grand Funk thrown in for good measure, though anyone that likes 70's styled hard rock should find something to like here. This is probably more for grizzled ex-hippies happily discontent with today's top 40 trends and is definetely a niche that gets lost in today's marketplace, so maybe the theory goes that acid is the burden of the white man's blues?

-Ryan Settee
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