KICK OUT THE TWANG!
Enough Twang and Bang to Break 1,000 Hearts.
I do like a new musical sub-genre; even making a few up myself just for the Hell of it; but one of the earliest ‘genuine ones’ is/was Cow Punk; of which one of my favourite bands of all time were proud purveyors….Jason and The Scorchers. So for someone else to use that moniker to describe their music has to be of interest; doesn’t it?
Then, of course there is their swamp infested version of Last Train to Clarksville which opens the album……yes sirree Bubba; this is certainly going to be right up my street.
The songs come at you like baseballs in a pen; fast and furious belters like Rodeo Star and Get Around which leave you with sweat running down your face; then there are the deceptively slow curlers Sorry and Honky Tonk Singer which lull you into a false sense of security until you listen intently and two very Country sad tales unravel before your eyes.
But it’s Speedbuggy USA’s sidewinders that are among some of the most memorable songs here; Hold My Head Up High and Wood, Screws and Nails are the type of 99mph Twang that you’d possibly hear in a London Pub circa 1977 when Punk Rock was at it’s height; and these crazy cats would win any battle of wills with the spiky haired audience; or perhaps just the battle.
Fear not though, Speedbuggy USA know their way around a Bona-fide Country song too; and so they should after 8 previous albums; with The Devil With Me and South Bound being opposite ends of the Honky Tonk spectrum and both being packed full of the spit, swagger and enthusiasm we normally associate with bands like the Waco Brothers, The Blasters and of course Jason and the Scorchers.
Even though I’ve loved every single track on an album that should be played from start to finish with no stopping for toilet breaks; choosing a Favourite song has been quite easy; even if it is a tie!
The band’s seedy interpretation of Unchain My Heart is fabulous; and just like Clarksville proved earlier; if you are going to do a cover……make it sound like you wrote it yourself, and that’s what they do here.
The other is a song of their own; Shaky Town which is just the type truck driving Country love song that will make you want to put your arm around your lover and both sway in time to the waltz like melody, as singer Timbo runs an emotional gamut for 3 short but perfect minutes.
What’s not to like about a band with a pedal-steel that sounds like a 1,000 hearts being broken, guitars that weep, wail and sing, a drummer and bass player who keep time better than a shiny new Rolex and a singer in Timbo who sounds like his life depends on you hearing every single note that comes from his grizzled throat; and boy oh boy can they write and deliver a toe-tapping song!
Released July 6th 2018