Riff Raff

So in the fine tradition of pulling this column outta my ass at the eleventh hour, I realized too late that I had absolutely NOTHING to write about as far as 7” material, so just this once, I’m gonna up the ante and review LP’s—SHOCK! HORROR! DIAPERS! Ok, so now that you’ve pooped your pants with excitement, here I go with my two bits.

Well, if you talk to the average teenager of today, and you ask them what it is about rock and roll music that they like, the first thing they say is the beat, the beat, the beat. So along comes The Ugly Beats to satisfy the young heathens and their insatiable desire for dancing and drinking and all things immoral.

Bring On The Beats! is indeed what this Texas quintet do on their debut long-player and all be damned if it don’t make my feet shimmy and shake like a man possessed. This is garage rock that puts the oomphasis on melody and good songwriting. The drums are nice and crisp and the guitars gutsy—two things that immediately grabbed me; my only beef is the keyboards could have been a bit more prominent, but I’ll live. Nice versions of The Easybeats (hear ‘em hit the high notes with aplomb!) and The Outsiders tunes, along with instant fuzzed-out fave “Girl On The Brain” and the closing raver “I’ll Close My Eyes”. For those who dig cutting a mean rug, find this on…(Get Hip Records, www.gethip.com).

Contrary to their album’s title, The Turpentine Brothers actually do care about your good times, at least mine anyway, when I recently caught them live in the picturesque town of Stanwood, Washington (I know, WTF?). Trust me, they delivered a set of moody rhythm and blues rockers that had everyone’s jaws hit the floor in eerie unison and on record the interplay between guitar, drum and keys is spot on and reminds me of The Compulsive Gamblers at their darkest or The Deadly Snakes without the horns. If those comparisons mean nothing to you, then brother, you don’t listen to enough rock and roll. Do yourself a favour and get this record. Did I mention that Tara from Mr. Airplane Man is in this band? If you saw their performance at The Brickyard last year (I know, WTF?) then rest assured her trademark shuffle and pound is well displayed and worth the price of admission alone. Speaking of shuffle and pound, two words that I’ll try not to use any further but best describe the playing style of my man BBQ. Combining the dexterity of such legendary one man “bands” like Hasil Adkins and Bob Log III, but with the honey-laced vocal treatment of a Buddy Holly or a Big Bopper, you get a finely crafted album of blues-tinged rock and roll with trace elements of country (not the JR kind, thank God) that shows this cat has nine lives and then some. Some may remember a little band called The Spaceshits, who then morphed into a little band called Les Sexareenos. Yes? No? Come on now, you’re letting me down here. The brains behind those outfits is now the muscle behind BBQ and the twelve songs (including a rootsy shuffle take on The Rolling Stones “Out Of Time”) make you not want to Tie Your Noose, but tie one on in the back yard among friends who want to “Shake Real Low” and bust out the “Record Machine” with the sounds of old time rock and roll blasting from the tinny speakers. Both this and the TB’s LP’s can be found on Bomp Records, (bomprecords.com), so strike while the iron is hot, why dontcha?

We return to our regularly scheduled column next month-cross your fingers and eyes, kids.