Three bands worth a listen
Their new CD Pig Iron contains seven tracks of heavy reverb, 50s rockabilly licks and echoes three decades of musical twists and turns, starting with 80s hardcore. The pace is quick, and the band puts together sounds that never stray too far from basic rock and roll. Titles include Necrobitch, Roadkill Baby and Nervous.
Having known each other since high school, band members Dr. Void (Vox, Washboard) Hot Tony the Lady Killer (Guitar) Evan the Destroyer (Bass) Evil Jim (Lead Guitar, Ice Pick) Señor El Führer (Drums) had been in local hardcore punk bands (Subliminal Slaughter, Apathy, Radon-NJ and Draino) back in the day. However, riding the vagaries of time and public taste, they rediscovered 1950s rock and roll and began blending it with punk rock and the metallic rock of the 1970s and early 80s. It was either that or put on jogging suits, display thick gold necklaces and spin on their heads.
The band keeps things simple, never straying too far from their punk days, things are just slowed down a bit and there’s a distinct twang. Most worth a listen to are The Fury and the Sun, Nervous (need tonic) and Her Gun.
Big Jef Special
Big Jef Special
It’s a classic “chicken-or-the egg scenario.” Which comes first, bad luck or the desire to sing country songs? For Big Jef Special and their self-titled album, the answer remains unclear. But with songs like Choptop Chevy, Alimony Blues and Heartache ridin’ shotgun, who cares.
Promoted as “Cash meets Clash” (Johnny Cash, I assume) there’s no mistaking the fact that this is a rockabilly band with an accent on “billy.” it’s so country it comes in extra crispy and regular.
The band has put together a good mix that runs an admittedly thin range of music — from honky tonk to rockabilly. The themes also follow well-rutted tracks. You’ll find ballads on messy divorces, improper driving and being cited for traffic violations. You’ll also find lamentations over having fallen in love with the wrong person and substance abuse. It’s heavy on reverb and Country dour.
Big Jef Special: Jef Shumard - Lead Vocals/Guitar/Fiddle, Nadeem Khan - Stand up Bass/Backing Vocals, Brian Chodorcoff - Lead Guitar, Brian MaGuire – Drums and Alan Cowart – Drums
Who would dare say anything bad about these guys. Imagine the men you’d find at backwater roadhouses and chopper shops. You know the guys. They have a pristine, tricked-out muscle car (in this case a 69 Galaxy) and no-nonsense ivory white facial hair. They’re fading tattoos speak to a day when getting inked didn’t mean you were in, it meant you were out — way out. It was a time when a tattooed gentleman out on the town made passers-by pass by from the other side of the street. Heck, the band has so many tattoos that one even fell out when I opened the CD case.
But even if I didn’t fear these guys, I would be writing nice things about their CD Devil’s Junction. It’s well-played and original. Imagine Tom Waits after completing a dime at
So, if you’re looking for soft ballads, you’ll be disappointed at first. But keep on listening. These guys can turn the mambiest mamby pamby into a classic-American-car-driving, non-diet-coke drinking, dirt-under-his-nails-but-he-don’t-care ass kicker. This is a band that stands up and out.
Formed in 2004, band members "Hellbound" Eddie Wilson (songwriter/singer) Eric "Jailhouse" Von Herzen (blues harp) Tommy Harkenrider (guitar) Rory Justice (guitar) Mike Turturro (upright and electric bass) and " Shakes " (drums) have brought together 12 tracks of truly great music.
Gritty, worn and wizened these men belt out songs that reflect the honest experience of a life lived hard. Songs range in topic but generally follow a pattern of unfortunate events involving guns, cars and the devil. There are seedy motels and Friday night cruisin’. The band even manages to use the word “baby” in two of the CD’s 12 songs.
Be sure to take a listen to Devil’s Junction, Trouble with a .44 and Fortune and Fame.
Tags: Nerve Tonic Pig Iron Mysp , 50s Rockabilly Licks And , Starting With 80s Hardcor , And The Band Puts Togethe , Roadkill Baby And Nervous , Band Members Dr. Void (Vo , Washboard) Hot Tony The L , Ice Pick) Señor El Führ , Apathy , Radon-NJ And Draino) Back
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