After releasing the split-album with Belgium’s Black Cat Bone Squad earlier this year the boys from Milwaukee are back with a new full album. And what an album it is… This must be their best release up to this date, opening with the haunting “Sharpen up the meat cleaver”. This slow-moving song with the chilling sharpening sound in the back sets the sound for the rest of the album. It’s going to be a dark and unsettling journey through a land of misery, filled with thugs, bad woman and alcohol…

In “One last gasp” Henry has met his match and goes all the way to the bitter end. Love can be a bitch, ey matey… What really struck me while listening to this album is how perfect the mix of the instruments is. With lots of albums the washboard is somewhere in the back or way up front, but on this one it’s just in there. Lacking a drummer and relying on just Cris as the rhythm section it still sounds fantastic. Here’s to you Brother! CHEERS!!!

With “If we ever wake” and “Smoke in the eye” it becomes crystal clear that this album is not about having a good time and drinking with your buddies. You can feel the despise for certain people, not only for who they are but for their actions. But then again it never goes to tacky name calling, it’s cryptic and I guess I love how Henry plays with words.

With “2 devils” the guys wrote another great sing-a-long (as they have done in the past) that will be a hit at future live shows. It’s catchy as hell! If you are ever in need for words to break up a relationship, listen to “A thousand ways”. If after that you still don’t know how to break the news, you’re an idiot! For the first 30 seconds of this song, going by the tittle, you would think it’s going to be a ballad or corny love song, boy was I wrong… Haha, I’m pretty sure it was their intention. Thanks for the chuckling boys…

There’s one more thing I really like about S.S. WEB’s way of writing songs. While the music is up-tempo or there is a bunch of snare picking going on, Henry’s singing is at a whole different pace and this brings a sort of calm over the songs.

While the album goes on we come to another highlight in the form of “Bring me home”. A desperate call for the end that could bring doubt to the happiest person on this planet. I guess I’ll take another feel-good pill now, thanks again guys… Sigh…

We come to a close with two extremely dark sounding and slow songs, and I love them both. “Do they” seems to be a complaint against the hypocrisy of religion (I could be wrong). While “You can’t run forever” is a straight forward murder song. It takes balls to end your album with these two, because they leave the listener in a bit of a haze and pressing the repeat button to feel more depressed it not something most people would do. (I did…)

You can buy the record at live shows and it will be for sale online soon I was told. The i-tunes date is not set yet. But make sure you get your hands on this. It’s so damn good!

Last week we got an email in our inbox from a very lovely lady named Kate, praising what we do with the website and the Beagle Sessions. Along with the praises there was a press release about a band that I never heard of. She asked me to read it and listen to the tunes if I had the time. At that moment it hit me, “oh fuck, this girl is being so nice to us, what if this band sucks? I don’t want to be the one to tell her, ah fuck me!!!!” But don’t be fooled, Kate was not just looking for a cheap way to give some crappy band some media attention. She knew what she was doing, she knew the band was good, real good, and I knew it after just one song. Thank you Kate!

The album opens with the 1930’s jazz song “I lost my gal from Memphis”. The song was originally composed by Peter De Rose, with lyrics by Charlie Tobias. Rollie and his boys give the song a small make-over with tremendous respect to the original wich ends up in a fun swinger. It puts a smile on your face and makes you want to dance with a pretty lady.

For the next song Rollie and his band slow it way down with the Charlie Patton classic “Elder Green Blues”. Where in the Patton version you hear a violin, I’m damn sure these guys used an accordion and it sounds just perfect. It adds to the sadness of the song. After the instrumental “Michigan Stomp” (an original I think) we head over to the traditional “Satan your kingdom must come down”, this song is best known in the Robert Plant version but I have to say I like this one better. It’s darker, more intense, you can feel something lurking in the dark and those minimal jazzy drum strokes combined with the controlled feedback make it one hell of a song!

We pick up the pace again with another original called “Speakeasy Rag”, it’s again an instrumental song in wich the bands shows how good they actually can play and control their instruments. Check out this video and judge for yourself. I was impressed.

After a little intermesso on organ we come to  another 1930’s popular swinger named “It ain’t right”, first recorded by Stuff Smith. Again the violin is missing like in the first recording, but what the boys do with the song makes up that feeling in a heartbeat. There’s something in Rollie’s singing style, he swallows the last letters of most words he sings, this would be something that would bother me with every other singer, but it works for him. Is it just the way he talks? I don’t know, but it sounds just right and makes this song even better. I included the video for this song at the end of the review, check it out!

“KC Moan” by the Memphis Jug Band is up next. By now I was wondering… “These guys play all covers, well most of the songs… I don’t like cover bands, I hate cover bands… Why am I doing a review for a fucking cover band?” You know why? Because they play them so good and with so much respect it doesn’t feel like it’s a cover. And they don’t play covers if you think about it, they play a song recorded before by an other artist in a time long gone. They are passing these songs on to the next generation, they are paying an homage to these old blues and jazz legends and I respect them for doing so.

The next homage is “James Alley Blues”, recorded by Richard ‘Rabbit’ Brown in New Orleans on march 11th in 1927. It was a sad song back then, it still is now. While Mister Brown’s version is very slow, Rollie and his boys go for a more up tempo version, but it doesn’t take the “sad” out and that’s how it is to be.

The last song on the record is “Done Got Old” by David “Junior” Kimbrough. It’s the youngest song on the album apart from the originals and again the band nails it. Dirty, fast blues with a country feel this time and with awesome hand-claps in the background and amazing picking by Rollie.

I would call this album a history lesson that every person who likes blues, Jazz, roots or whatever “rock” music should listen to. I got to know so many great and long forgotten songs and artists while listening to these tunes. Is it original? No! Is it good? Hell yeah! Am I going to look different now upon cover bands? NO! Fuck them! Unless they do it like this, pay homage and don’t take the easy way out.

Picture by Peter Smith


		
	
	

Some time ago I bumped into Darren Deicide while surfing the web. He instantly grabbed my attention with his music and, while looking further into him, also as a person. “This guy, now that’s something we don’t see everyday in this “roots” scene”, was what I was thinking. I got in contact with him and from one thing came the other…

Some weeks later I got his EP “Bomb This Joint” in my mailbox. This little slap of vinyl has been doing rounds on my turntable for a while now, and it gets better every time I play it. The title track is a wild footstomping piece of rhythm and blues punk that will make you wanna dance like you’re possessed by the devil himself. It sounds simple and repetitive at first, but it’s so effective. And when those hand claps come in… they just hit the spot! On the B-side we find “Hudson River Hangover” A slow-moving song with a deep impact. Darren only plays the most essential strings on this and it gives the song a dark and minimal feel. It has a certain threat coming towards you, a feeling something bad is going to happen soon… This ep, as all other ep’s, is way too short and leaves you hungry for more. So I suggest you all go to Darren’s website and order his music. You can also find him on Spotify, but please buy directly from him, we all know why…

Now enjoy the interview.
1. First things first, please tell our readers who you are, where you’re from, what you do in daily life…
I’m Darren Deicide. I reside in Jersey City, New Jersey though I’m originally from Chicago. I guess you could say that I’m a devotee of a certain thread of music tradition, that which comes from the tradition of diabolical Americana. Its influence has spanned decades and been in a constant state of evolution, and it has been great to be a part of it in any way, whether it’s playing my music, archiving music from the past, getting people to swing, or anything in-between.

2. Darren you play as a solo artist now, did you play in other bands before? Who was it, what did you play? Or have you always been a lone wolf?
I actually grew up playing piano, though I never did any public performances beyond recitals. I then picked up guitar. Like any good rebellious teen, I’ve played guitar in a slew of mediocre punk bands that mostly aren’t worth mentioning. I’ve also dabbled with other musicians, but musicians are a notoriously flakey group of people. It’s very rare when one finds a deeply creative individual who isn’t a mental basketcase, or conversely a competent, sane person who isn’t completely conventional in their approach to music. For whatever reason, the parts of a human brain where organization and expression are strongest don’t seem to wire together often. I may not be an exception to that either. So, yes, I’ve been mostly a lone wolf, however I’m starting to work more with other musicians. For example, I recently wrote a song with Nathan Gray, the lead singer of Boysetsfire, called “My Star-Spangled Banner” and I think it’s great. My crystal ball tells me that more of these types of collaborations are in the future.

3. While your 2006 album “Temptation and the Taboo, part 1” had a more “atmospheric” sound you now play a more lo-fi, primitive form of, let’s call it, “blues”. Why is this? Did you want a more head-on, confrontational sound? More like your live shows, raw and in your face?
I actually did a demo before “Temptation and the Taboo, Part 1” that was probably the most raw thing I’ve ever done, and it was pretty under-developed in retrospect. But those are the breaks when you’re exploring a musical voice. “Temptation and the Taboo, Part 1” was an early experiment in conceptualism, but I never thought it was particularly far off from my live sound. It has been a guiding ethos of mine to keep my music rather organic. Part of me, indeed, wants to replicate what I do live. There’s nothing more annoying than seeing an artist live, wanting to take their music home, and then finding out the recording is a fictionalization of what they do. It can make you feel like you bought a goose egg, and I consider it a type of false advertising. But it’s also what people who understand my music want. I hear it a lot. People come up to me and say, “Make sure you keep that rawness that you have. That’s what I like about what you’re doing. It’s real.” And while “real”, in most contexts, doesn’t mean anything, I know what they’re getting at. Double-tracked, auto-tuned vocals with ridiculously reverbed snare drum and synthetic violins seems to be the order of the day, and a lot of people are sick of the overproduction and lack of subtlety. Some people are really yearning for the physical again. They want to reacquaint themselves with fleshly experiences and their primal selves, so a lot of them are looking for more ways to unplug from this hyper-connected world. A lot of psychologists and sociologists are just starting to measure the evidence about what this constant exposure to connectivity does to our brains. Many people can’t focus or be present, they feel atomized and isolated, and then they wonder why they feel so miserable. It has been quite stark to witness, especially with younger people who come to my shows. Many have no idea what it’s like to grow up without an instant connection to the social hivemind or what it’s like to be totally immersed in the present environment of a music aesthetic without the option of outside distractions. Some are simply addicted to their phones and have no social skills. I think something about roots music is a breath of fresh air to many, and the rawness is just reflective of that.

4. If it were up to you, whom of todays artists, would you like to record a song/album with?
There is so much bubbling right now that I’m constantly surprised by something I’ve never heard before. I’m not going to presumptuously assume I’d creatively mesh with anybody. One of my favorite artists is Edgefield C. Johnston over in St. Louis. He’s an amazing poet and truly one-of-a-kind. I re-wrote an old demo song I’ve been holding on to named “Static”, and he does this great segue during it. It’ll be on the future album.

5. Is there a new full album on its way? And if so, what can we expect? Just you, or are you going to work with other people?
Yes, there is! I don’t want to burst too many bubbles yet, but let’s just say that I’ve been doing a lot of behind-the-scenes work to lay the foundation for it, including talking to record labels, producers, and lots of people in-between. I think every artist thinks their most recent work is their best, just because they’re more currently attached to it, but I have to say, I really think this is my best music yet. I’ve been playing a lot of these songs live, some for over a year now, but I just haven’t put them to a recording. There have been a lot of setbacks between “The Jersey Devil is Here” and today, including a serious injury I had to deal with. But I’ll be in the studio and I’ll have more news by the end of the summer.

5. Is it fair to call you a “nerd” on American music? Not being disrespectful, but you really love the history of American music don’t you?
It isn’t exactly unfair. It is true that there is nothing that moves me more than Americana. America is an inspiration. Sure, it has issues. Human beings are nasty creatures, so their foibles will always taint any society. But in some respect, a culture is a reflection of a society’s ideals, and the American revolution established many incredibly admirable ideals. Well, its culture has reflected that promise, along with the honesty and joy that is so unique to American sensibilities, whether it’s in the indulgent horn section of a swing band, the surreal landscape of the blues guitar, or the bleak tragedies of country romanticism. And the list goes on. Americana is so influential that we see other countries taking those traditions and tossing them back at us in new variations. I welcome the ante up!

6. Can I label you as a neo-traditionalist? I’m not talking about “rockabilly guys that wish they where teenagers or in their early 20’s in the 50’s, but can’t live without their Iphone”. I get the feeling you are person that takes pride in being a gentleman, somebody that takes pride in who they are, where they come from and what they are doing. Somebody that loves doing things hands on, not wait around and hopes things will “work out”… A person that takes on life as it comes and makes the best, without crying about the things that could have been.
I’ll let others be the judge of that. I’m not one to easily slap labels on myself.

7. As the host for Agent Provocateur, your online radio show, you take on everything that’s going wrong in this world. you don’t take a political stand, but you give your opinion. You say what you think and what you want. How big is the shit storm that hits you when you take on these items?
It really depends on the issue. Take for instance my analysis of Zionism. By far, out of any subject I tackled, that produced the most feedback, for and against. But the people who disagreed came out like roaches and boy, were they persistent. I titled that episode “Zionism’s Free Pass Gets Revoked”. It pointed out what a fundamentalist movement Zionism actually is and pointed out how, like any fundamentalist movement, once it gains state power, it sprouts into a totalitarian, criminal political power. That’s nothing particularly controversial. The UN and most people outside of the American-centric worldview wouldn’t be shocked. But I was bombarded with e-mails from people, and, surprise, surprise, many had personal ties with Israeli special interest. Now, take a look at the episode archive and you’ll see that some episodes later I did another entitled “Saudi Arabia’s Free Pass Gets Revoked”. Again, what I said wasn’t particularly controversial to anyone who has been paying at least a moderate amount of attention to the world beyond their navel. The structure of the analysis was essentially the same as the episode on Zionism, but instead I dissected Wahhabism, Saudi Arabia, and America’s close relationship to it. The difference in response was dramatic. I heard nothing, not a peep. Seriously, I didn’t even receive a single email or comment. Americans have deeply internalized double-standards that most aren’t questioning, with favoritism towards Zionism being an obvious one.

All moral systems are derived from political power. In that sense, might makes right. A major point of “Agent Provocateur”, besides indulging in my humorous side, is to question the legitimacy of some of those systems. This is a Satanist here, someone who has entirely rejected the notion of divine authority, the presumably greatest authority of all. Bowing to irrational pities or just accepting the face value of common narratives is not something I do easily, especially when it’s a matter of unquestioned and overly simplistic views on the world. Stupidity and hypocrisy works well for others, especially religionists and their allies, but I’ll pass.

8. You are a member, Warlock and spokesman for the Church of Satan, if so, how does this reflect on your music?
And how does this affect your personal life?
My music is a reflection of my thoughts and emotions which come from my experiences. My experiences are dictated by my life choices, and my life choices come from my approach to the world. My approach to the world comes from my ethos, which can best be described as Satanic. I assume it would work that way for any Satanist who creates art.

9. Does the fact that you are open about your affiliation with the CoS hold back your musical career in any way? And what are your feelings about this matter?
If my affiliation is something that would steer some away from my music, then Satanism is doing exactly what I want it to do, and that just tickles my underbelly. Scholarship suggests that a lot of the blues pioneers were accused of being in league with the devil during the nascent days of the blues. Most took the approach of being defensive, insisting that they were God-fearing people. A smaller minority, like Robert Johnson or Tommy Johnson, took the opposite approach and associated themselves and their art more deeply with diabolism. Count me amongst the latter.

10. Do you consider music, and more important, your music, to be a “magical” thing? (lesser or greater)
Absolutely. Just come to my show, and we’ll see if my spells have any effect on you.

11. You make your own beer I have learned, tell us more about this. Remember, we are from Belgium and have a great beer history, we are very proud of this, but I have to say, while traveling the USA the last 3 years, I did get to drink some great American micro-brewery beers. So shoot!
First, let me say that I am a huge fan of Belgium’s beer culture, and though I have never been to Belgium, I have a life-goal to eventually play there, preferably surrounded by a crew of naughty, beer-drinking Belgians. I cannot disagree with you, Belgium. Your beer is absolutely fantastic.

I’ve been brewing beer for years, long before it recently became respectable in America. It’s a passion of mine, and I’ve entered home brews in international competitions, with really great scores. It’s gotten to the point where I just brew all my beer and rarely buy beer from a store. I make exactly what I like, often with harvested ingredients from my own garden. Why settle for anything less than what you want?

A lot of art forms have overlapping aesthetic judgments. Whether it’s music informing dance, dance informing fashion, or fashion informing sound, it all cross-pollinates to create total environments. Well, I’ve always found Americana interesting in that I feel that booze and Americana have had a unique relationship. I honestly think that some songs sound like or compliment a particular libation. It’s not something that gets talked about a lot, so this theory might sound strange. I’ll give you an example. I bet any fan of Americana can tell me what the sound of moonshine is. They probably wouldn’t jump to say the Chick Webb Orchestra. That’s more of a dry martini kind of band. Even a smooth blues man like Josh White sounds a bit more like a very nicely aged bourbon. But an Appalachian bluegrass artist? Pass the jar and light the fire pit! I like to explore that overlap when I make beer or write music.

12. Can we get an exclusive? Or just some last words…
Sure. Give into temptation. It’s only your freedom.

Photo credit will be added when we get it from Darren.

http://www.darrendeicide.com

I’m sure most of our readers do not know who Philip Bradatsch is, but when I drop the name “The Dinosaur Truckers” I know heads will turn and people go… “what about them, that band is awesome!!! Are they playing near by?” Philip is the tall, skinny blond guy with the hat, playing banjo and singing most of their songs. Now you know who I’m talking about? Yeah, THAT GUY!

Philip made a solo album, and it really is a solo album. He played every instrument, wrote all the songs, did what he wanted to do and made it perfect! If, after reading this review you don’t want to buy this album, I have no idea what you’re doing here. This is not “The Dinosaur Truckers Light”, this is Philip’s album, these are his songs and his feelings.

One name came to mind when first listening to this album, Townes Van Zandt. And to be honest, it keeps coming back every time I listen to it. I’ve been playing Townes’ songs for the last week along with Philip’s to see if I’m wrong, but I’m not. He didn’t make an easy ripoff, let that be clear. It feels like Philip used an old Ouija board, summoned the ghost of Townes and asked him to write an album together. It’s this good!

By now you should know this is not a party record, far from it… These songs are to be listened to all alone, accompanied with a glass of good red wine or whisky. Alone with your thoughts, reminiscing the events that took place in your life. When I was listening to the title song “When I’m Cruel” I felt like this song was written for me personally. I can be an asshole to the one that stands closest to me and sadly she has to take the shitstorm most of the time when I feel bad. This song is like an apology to that one person I love with all my heart. I am sorry…

For the love of (whatever), please do not label this album as a singer/songwriter album, because it’s so much more than that. Just listen to a song like “Down By The Gallows”, this could be a “traditional” passed along generations on, and yet it isn’t. I do hope that musicians to come will play this song and tell stories about how they first heard this and now pay tribute to it.

Two songs after the aforementioned “When I’m Cruel” the album almost comes to an end, but not before Philip drops another emotional bomb in the form of “Mudhole”. The song tells the story of a man on the edge, ready to end his life, he doesn’t seem to have anyone else to blame but himself. The sad picking of the strings in the beginning of the song sets the mood and you feel a darkness coming. The little hope you have for the man is soon washed away and by the end you feel lost and in despair. Yes folks, songs like this are still being made and Mister Bradatsch is a craftsman.

Philip will be on tour with James Hunnicutt in Europe in June and July, make sure to go see them and buy this album. Also check out “The Dinosaur Truckers”.

https://www.reverbnation.com/philipbradatsch

Doing a review for an album that your friends recorded is always hard. You want it to be good, so you don’t need to be an asshole and look for words or phrases to describe it, so it doesn’t come out that bad… In this case that was not the deal.

If you’re reading this blog you should have heard the names Liz Sloan and Jared McGovern more than once and you should have seen them on stage with one or another band in the past. And you should be aware of the musical quality these two wonderful folks have to offer.

Before I really start this review I want to take a trip down memory lane…

For those that have seen Liz when she was playing with Bob Wayne, would you have thought that she would ever sing a note? Or even more recent, her first European tour with the Broken Band… If not for her fiddle, she looked so shy, the microphone was her biggest enemy… A year later she comes back with that same band and “hey, that girl can sing” was what we where all thinking. Even if she was still in the background, her voice had this special place in the sound of the Broken Band and I knew some day it would be her time to shine, apart from her fiddle playing.

Then we have Jared, the wild man, slapping’ his bass like a maniac and screaming where screams were needed… A bass player, doing what he was supposed to do, providing a beat in a drummer-less band… Oh c’mon this guy can’t write a song or sing a tune, he’s wild, he’s a bass player, after the show you put him in his cage and feed him a banana… (this is not my opinion, this is just me writing, don’t get upset… it’s meant to be funny…)

Last year they proved us all wrong, Liz and Jared being in a relationship, provided us with an excellent debut album on which they showed the world they could stand on their own feet. And for an album that was born out of not touring, boredom and Jared learing a new instrument, it sure made an impact.

“Addicted to the Road” was a good debut record and if you have even half of a musical ear, you knew that these two had more to offer. With “Vehicle in Transit” they took that step forward. It’s a pretty traditional album, no punk, no screaming, no big anti this or that lyrics. Just pure songs, recorded with friends about life and what makes us tick.

The record opens with “75 Southbound Blues” and with just this one song they show you what the album is all about. Sing-a-long lyrics, uptempo tunes and great musicianship. Old time music played from the heart with a modern sound.

After “Something That’s Never Been Done” we get “Chocolate Easter Bunny” and it’s a damn funny song originally by Phil Hummer, about how we buy, use and throw away stuff in our modern nowadays society.

“Tennessee Moon” with Mister James Hunnicutt on backing vocals sounds like it comes straight out of them good ol’days, when country music was country music (I have no idea what I’m talking about…, it’s just a great song).

In “Walk This Earth” we get a whole lot of Liz’s beautiful voice, I’m not sure what, but there is something about her way of singing. It sounds old, not old like an elderly woman, but old in soul. It’s a love song and a damn good one. Is it cheesy? Not really, it’s lovey dovey, but c’mon, from time to time even the most hardcore badass needs a little loving and that’s just what this song provides.

When listening to this album you start to think if it’s autobiographical, “Found out about You” is one of those songs that may trigger that feeling. One can only imagine how it is to be on the road with the one you love and have little to no privacy, every step you take, every drink you drink, folks see you and talk about it… It’s a real honky-tonk song and that electric guitar takes it to a higher level.

“What Takes a Woman” throws me back a couple of years and to every day I spend with my wife… The Broken Band came over for dinner at our place and just after, Liz disappeared into our bathroom, an hour and a half later… No Liz… “C’mon girl, we need to be going, got a show to play”! Minutes later she walked into the livingroom looking all purdy and sweet. Yeah boys, that’s what they do it for. For us to shut the hell up and be like… “damn, I love that girl…” That’s what Liz does, that’s what my wife does, that’s what they all do, and we as dumb caveman love them and forgive them instantly! Oh and it’s also a good song about the difference between the sexes. I forget sometimes this is a review…

Up next we get a great swing song by the name “Ballad of Charlotte and Charlie” on wich Liz and Jared get the help from Keith Roberts from Call me Bronco. If you have been on the road as long as these two have, you make good friends and you know what’s even better than good friends? Good friends that can play great music! It’s the darkest song on the album about a man loving his wife so much that he is prepared to die for her. Fellows, if you feel like this about your girl, she’s a keeper or just a heartbreaking bitch, that’s up to y’all to figure out.

Further down the road we come to “Praying for Rain”, another country diddle that moves by slowly like an almost dried up creek, could be the one that’s mentioned in the song. The atmosphere created by the music perfectly fits the lyrical theme and you almost feel sad for the protagonist.

There’s two traditionals on the record, the first one is “Big Spike Hammer”, but it’s on “Kitchen Girl/June Apple” that our fierce pioneers go all out. Stretching it to a six-minute plus epic piece of music. Starting the song and keeping it close to how most of us know it, but when notes go by, the tempo goes up and it turns into something we would expect from The Broken Band. These are two separate songs blended into one perfect gift to the audience. A party song pur sang!

“Just Over The Horizon” brings us to the end of the album, and if the phrase, going out with a bang, ever had a meaning, it’s this song! I’m damn sure this song came into existence when they where touring with The Freeborn Brothers from Poland. The Eastern European/gypsy vibe can not be denied. And for me this was the highlight of the album, but that can be because I’m European and somewhere, deep inside, there must be some gypsy…

Some additional info: The album was recorded at Electric Eye in Pittsburgh and comes with amazing cover art by Christoph Heuer, who you should know from the Muddy Roots posters and the video he did for The Tillers. It will be released on Roots Union Records in a few weeks.

 

http://urbanpioneersmusic.com

 

In 2011 psychobilly/rootsrockers Black Cat Bone Squad from Belgium released a split album with Crispy Jones from Germany. The album was limited to only a 100 copies for each band and BCBS sold them all real fast. I had the original album but lost it somewhere down the road. Last week BCBS decided to re-release the songs they did for the split on a ep. It’s a burned copy on a cd that looks like a record, stuck in a self-folded paper sleeve, nothing fancy… When you order it, ask Sweetboy, the bassplayer, to draw something on the sleeve for you, I know he loves doing this… I’m glad they re-released it, for a couple of reasons: the songs on this ep are so damn good, it doesn’t have the Crispy Jones songs, it’s not limited and it’s cheap as fuck!

“Crack in the Mud” is the first song and if you like to shake your ass, this song is right up your alley. A short mid-tempo roots rocker that’s driven by the rhythm section while Jumpin’ Jim lays down some sweet licks on his Gretch. Before you know it the song is over and you’re looking for the repeat button. Next up we have “Johnny Ska”. No, this is not a ska song, it’s kind of a ska song, but not a ska song, it’s a ska tribute, it’s a rootsy ska song, it’s a… Ah fuck it, it’s a SKA SONG! And then again it’s not… If it’s one thing, it’s a good song…

If you have seen our first Beagle Session you have heard the next song on this ep. “Truck Driver” was first released on the debut album, but Jo (Jumpin’ Jim) also plays this song as a solo act. In this version we get a laid-back, bluesy version of what was a straightforward rock’n’roll song. I like this one over the orignal. It’s darker, more intense, the sound of the bass in the background gives it a creepy feeling, like there is something lurking in the dark…
Next up we have “Legendary Shakin’ of the Shack” and if you know anything about roots music it shouldn’t take you more than 2 seconds to figure out what this song is all about. Yes indeed, Th’ Legendary Shack Shackers! Is it a ripoff? No! It’s the perfect tribute!
The title song, “Monsters R Go” is a great straight-up psychobilly song with one of the funniest phrases I’ve ever heard in psycho, “Your daddy is a zombie, and your mother doesn’t know”. If these guys would get some more recognition this song would be a great sing-along at live shows.

You can order the ep at their facebook page or buy it at one of their shows.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Black-Cat-Bone-Squad

Hailing from Asheville, North Carolina, Skunk Ruckus is a band that according to their webpage blends elements of old time music with punk, as so many other bands claim to do these days. I don’t care if there’s a million of these bands out there, as long as they are all as good as these guys. The punk influence is minimal, but nicely done. Even the typical old time music is minimal, well yeah, they use a washboard and banjo, but it doesn’t sound like they are trying to be this 1930’s band gone punk… Where most bands stay far away from electric guitar and bass, Skunk Ruckus embraces them to give their sound that extra kick.

An important aspect of this band and therefore this album is Mr. Jim Daddy’s vocals. Nick Cave comes to mind more then once when I hear him sing, and that’s a huge compliment.

“Billy Mac” kicks the album in first gear and takes you on a wild ride with a homicidal maniac and sets the tone for the rest of the album. Dark storytelling, creepy vibes and great musicianship. Next up is “Pretty Little Things” and here’s that Nick Cave vibe for the first time. Girls hold your men tight, dance with him and when you look into his eyes… You know you’re fucked… He’s a killer…

“The Devil Must Be Beating His Wife” is a great uptempo song that will get every crowd rocking like fools. In Belgium we say “it’s carnaval in Hell” when the sun is shining and the rain is coming down at the same time, but I like this phrase way more.

Rolling into “Darling Corey” Skunk Ruckus upholds the tempo and delivers a great version of this traditional song about love, loss and moonshine. Before you know it there’s a “Mosquito” buzzing around your head and as the real little bloodsucker this song is irritating, but that scratch after the bite can be so rewarding, doesn’t make sense, I know, just listen…

As the album moves on with “Hello” we come to “You let me Stay”, a balladesque song that once again proves that for every stupid drunk there is a girl dumb enough to take him in. Thank you girls, we try, we realy do… “Tear It Down” is also a traditional, but wrapped in a punk/rockabilly blanket with a great kazoo part that will put a huge smile on your face.

I think that “Little Margaret” can best be discribed as a gothic country song, it’s eerie, dark, building up, waiting to explode, waiting, waiting… If they could get Lonesome Wyatt to record this song with them, this would be an instant classic. Don’t get me wrong, the song is fantastic, but listening to it, I could just hear Jim and Wyatt sing this together. “Zombie Love Song” sounds like an old psychobilly song on your recordplayer at the wrong tempo. And even then it sounds cool…

By now you should have figured out that I realy like this album and I’m sure most of our readers will too. I hope they get the opportunity to show all of you what they are about and make you dance, drink and party like crazy.

Check out the album here:

http://skunkruckus.bandcamp.com

Order the album here:

https://www.facebook.com/SkunkRuckus

 

If you are a traditional psychobilly fan only, walk away and walk fast… All those that do not wear their ass as a hat and like some good, fast and hard-hitting tunes, gather around and enjoy this album from The Silverhounds!!!
Hailing from New Jersey this threesome have created an excellent mix between psychobilly, metal and punk. Sounds like a cliché you say? Well to bad for you then, this album rocks your grandmother’s girdle off. Only after the fifth song she will get a chance to put it back on, and maybe sensually strip down again to “Chained”, a murder ballad so campy (in a good way) that it would have been perfect for a murder scene in the movie Cry Baby (why is there no such scene in that movie?).

Before “Chained” the album blasts of with “Dying Breath”, which sets the tune with a pure heavy metal intro, and then evolves into a psychobilly stomper and so becomes the stepping stone for the rest of this album. The Misfits or Danzig are never far away, but you can not accuse these guys of ripping off. It’s something similar, but completely different, like the girl scouts and Al Qaeda.

Rolling into “Devil Inside” we get the full potential of this band, fast as the roadrunner, the bassdrum and doghouse provide a solid construction for Derek on guitar to go apeshit. Daniel’s vocals once again prove that he’s the perfect guy to sing these songs.

An important thing is the sound on this album. Even when the songs go into overdrive, the sound is still crystal clear. Many bands get lost in the chaos when doing these type of songs, The Silverhounds proudly hold their heads above the raging water and surf the sonic waves that they create. As an independent band without any label support I can only salute this. To wrap things up, if you like psychobilly, metal, punk or just have an open mind, check these guys out. Buy their albums, go see a show, put them on stage… Enjoy!

 

http://www.thesilverhounds.com/

Holy Crow!!!! That was the first thing that came to mind when this album started to make its rounds in my cd player. The Maker (also the name of the first song) blasts of in pure aggression after a minute or so intro that sets a creepy atmosphere that you would normally find on a death or black metal album. Mikey’s first words just add to this feeling and when Joe Perreze unleashes his demons seconds later you know you’re in for a wild and blasphemous ride…

Two songs in and you’re looking for things in your living room to destroy, people to hit in the face, smash things up and go ape shit! I’ve seldomly come across an album that triggers these emotions after just two songs… “This is the best Goddamn Gallows album ever!” was all I could think, and after Seven Devils I was really sceptic if they could top it.

With every song the band drags you further into their world of darkness and despair and it just feels like home. Some months ago Baby Genius told us he hates it when the band is called a roots band and with this album they make a statement that indeed that term is not one to use for The Goddamn Gallows. The instruments used on this album would indeed suggest you where going to listen to a “roots” album, but I don’t think that even their most loyal fans could have seen this curve ball coming. It’s not that their sound has changed that much, they just brought it unto an other level. The sonic assault that is The Maker just blasts your socks off…

After seven songs the band allows you your first moment to get your stuff back together and take a deep breath with the song Ol’ Dusty Trail but after that they drag you’re sweaty, blood drenched corpse back down for a second wild ride on this roller coaster from hell that is The Maker. With this album the guys have reached a new level of musical rulership and if there ever was a metal or punk festival that has the balls to put them on the same bill with your most brutal black metal or most radical punk band, The Goddamn Gallows would still come out victorious, if people would only have an open mind…

The album is released by Farmageddon Records and recorded and mixed by Andy Gibson who we know as the steel guitar player for Hank III. Joe Perreze is responsible for the great artwork.
Good news for our European readers, the boys will be touring Europe this year! We’ve had the privileges to see them live four times and if you’ve never seen GG Allin perform, this is the next best thing. You know what… Fuck GG, the Gallows RULE!

P.S. Thank you Wendi D Story for introducing me to the phrase “Holy Crow”.
P.P.S. Don’t let the ghost of GG Allin read this, I have way to much respect for the godfather of scumfucks, but this review needed to go out with a bang…

http://www.thegoddamngallows.com

http://www.farmageddonrecords.com/

The boys from Poland have a new album out, and the first thing that I noticed is that they are not trying to sound like an American band. They have such an original sound, the album name discribes it perfectly and not at all. What could one expect when hearing Gypsy Hobo Trash Grass for the first time?

The album is mostly banjo and guitar driven with Niko’s steady footdrumming. Matt plays a mean ass accordion and that gives the album it’s gypsy side. So where does the hobo, grass or trash come in, you ask? Well every song is a new adventure, taking you “down to hell” on the 8th track or “Marching to your grave” on the 13th. Even if they are just a two men band, the number of instruments that go in every song makes it so exciting. And yes they pull it of live! In just one song you can see Niko switch from banjo to washboard and back without losing any soul or power.

Both guys have a great voice and know when to let the other take the lead. Some of you may find it hard the first few times to listen through the accents but for me this is one thing that makes this album even better. I don’t think it would have the same impact if they would sing in perfect English. Here is where the gypsy feel comes back in.

The record has a charming live sound, and this is not an excuse for a crappy sound. You get the feeling they are playing in your livingroom or the backseat of your car when driving. I suggest you don’t play this album in your car unless you’re a skilled driver. This is a party album… Maybe not in lyrical content, but damn sure music wise…

Here at Old Style Music Nights we had the pleasure to see these guys play live so many times and feed them a good home cooked meal while they where on the road and let me tell you, apart from being great musicians they are great people. They are trying to get to the USA in 2015 and I hope they get there. Holy crow, the crowd would love it, I can see them blow the imaginary roof of a tent at Muddy Roots, they did it once in Belgium and that’s the mini version…

You can buy the album directly from the band or you can buy it online via their bandcamp page.

http://freebornbrothers.com/

http://freebornbrothers.bandcamp.com/

The cliché goes that great things come in small packages, I guess that also counts for great voices. Hot damn! I’m not a big fan of female fronted rock ‘n’ roll bands, but this band got me hooked. Where lots of other bands seem to use the frontwoman thing as a gimmick or crowd pleaser, with Lara Hope and The Ark-Tones it all feels right.
This is not your twelve in a dozen girly, girl rockabilly album. This is the real deal!

Luck Maker, the first full album by this Hudson Valley, NY band was born fully with the help of crowdfunding. It must have been a great feeling for this band that people where believing in them to create such a great album that they where all willing to chip in before hearing any of the music. And let me say, they where right to do so.

The album swings like the tits of a fat girl doing jumping jacks. I’m not saying it’s all fast forward songs, not at all, party songs, dark ballads, rhythm ‘n’ blues to hold your lover close. The songs flow out and come together as a perfect piece of roots music. Lara is backed by amazing musicians and songwriters, one of them being Matt from world known psychobilly band The Arkhams on the doghouse. Chris Heitzman on guitar and Dave Tetreault on drums make up a great band that knows how to write a song.

Highlights for me are “Whiskey Pick”, an uptempo swinger that makes you want drink, dance and maybe hit a chair over someone’s head because he gave your girl a dirty look. This song could be used in a bar fight scene for some movie, I can see it! Hey Quentin, here’s some new music for ya!
“He is not the devil” is a country’esque uptempo ballad (is there such a thing?) carried by Matt’s perfect slapping bass line about an abusive relationship that more than a few of their listeners will relate to. Hang in there girls, prince charming is out there somewhere…

I guess by now you know I like this album, and I’m sure you will too. Lara’s voice is one of the best I’ve heard for a long time in this “scene” thing and I’ve said it before, this is not girly girl music, so boys you can play this one full blast while driving with the windows down, who knows you could be that prince charming for that one girl…

That’s it, I’m out!

Photo credit: C3 Photography

While on tour in Europe, James released a “new” album. To be honest, it’s 8 tracks from the pre-release for his new album and two songs he recorded while in London, England the ninth of October. Niko and Matt from The Freeborn Brothers, with whom James is touring, made this happen. James arrived in Europe with no merch at all, so a plan was made and a cd was born. I have to give it to my Polish friends Niko and Matt, they get the job done! In Belgium we joke about Polish people being thieves, lowlifes and lazy fucks… but these two prove me wrong every time! It has nothing to do with racism, it’s just stereotypes, so please get the sand out of your vagina…If you are on tour and need cd’s, get in contact with these guys, they’ll hook you up and make it happen!!!

We all love to sing along to James’ songs, he has a way to make you smile and cry at the same time. This new release is not a sing along album, not at all. It’s heavier, more metal, like a semi-acoustic doom metal monster. In almost each song there is an electric guitar in the background building a base but not taking over. His voice and sublime guitar picking is still the main course, but it has such a different feel compared to his previous releases. “I’ll take the rain” could be a Paradise Lost song if you add drums and more guitars, but this stripped-down version does the trick. “Never Alone” is the next one, and shoot me if I’m wrong, but I’m sure that James based this song on the Cock Sparrer song he loves to play. It has the punk vibe but never gets to the sing along, soccerhooligan anthem as the song I think it is based on. But it works just as well!

The title song, Who Will Raise The Flag, is a typical James Hunnicutt song, but oh so metal, slow built up, grabbing you by the throat lyrics that you try to give a place in your life but don’t really understand, his fantastic voice kicking you down, lifting you up and then just leaves you feeling like you need to do something for someone, but you forgot who it was and this person really needs you now… It’s weird how he does it, but he always makes you think…
The two songs recorded live in London at the end of the album bring back James as most of us know him, a guitar and a voice, and will take you home after a “hard to understand” first run of this album but make sure to play it over and over again, it grows on you!

This cd is limited to 100 copies so most of you will never have the opportunity to buy it, don’t be sad, the new album will be released soon and has the same songs on it.

There is a mistake on the sleeve or/and on the cd, song number nine and ten have switched places, that’s what you get with working with them polish folks. I’m just joking, not about the mistake, it’s for real. But if you can get shit done as fast as Niko and Matt can, you can take over the world without people noticing it. I just hope these two stay on the *Team Simple side and let us do what we like, have a beer, go to shows, have fun with the people we love and be good to the folks who deserve it…

*Team Simple: people who like to party, have fun, get drunk, don’t care, don’t drink, do drugs, take care of their friends, don’t do drugs, be straight edge, hate religion, believe in god, don’t preach, eat red meat, love their rabbit, walk their dogs, holdhairbackwhilepuking, love life, don’t give up, joke on you, kick you in the nuts and hug it out…

Look out for our interview with James Hunnicutt and The Freeborn Brothers. We will be posting it soon…