Americana UK - 10/10 - "Flawless third record from one of the most exciting bands around."
Inspired in large part by Tom Petty's Full Moon Fever, the first album Grace ever owned, Bought to Rot finds her at the same age Petty was when he created his solo debut masterpiece. In light of his recent passing, Grace was motivated to pay homage to one of her lifelong heroes.
Laura Jane Grace & the Devouring Mothers are Laura Jane Grace, Atom Willard, and Marc Jacob Hudson. Grace is a musician, author, and activist best known as the founder, lead singer, songwriter, and guitarist of the punk rock band Against Me!. Willard, also of Against Me!, is a drummer who has played in iconic punk bands such as Rocket from the Crypt, Social Distortion, and The Offspring. Devouring Mothers bassist Hudson is a recordist and mixer at Rancho Recordo, a recording studio and creative space in the woods of Michigan, and the sound engineer for Against Me
2.Born In Black
3.The Airplane Song
4.Apocalypse Now (& Later)
6.Amsterdam Hotel Room
7.The Friendship Song
8.I Hate Chicago
11.The Acid Test Song
12.The Hotel Song
14.The Apology Song
It's an album of pure Americana - not just because of where it was recorded, or that many of its players helped put Muscle Shoals on the musical map, but because it is beyond the news of the day. It goes to a place where the differences between country, soul, blues, and rock and roll are blown aside by the warm, languid breezes. The music has no time for such petty details because in the moment, in that place, was the sound of sweet agreement.
In July 2015, with the help of 75 die-hard mekons fans, MEKONCEPTION took place at the Jalopy Theater in Red Hook, Brooklyn, an event dedicated to creating a new record in real time around a single microphone. Born were twelve brand new Mekons songs, created live in one take - part album, part performance art, part art-ifact, all Mekons. Originally released as a highly limited edition book and CD only available through the band and long sold out, due to popular demand Bloodshot Records is releasing the stand- alone CD component from this historic Mekons event.
Song to song, moment to moment, you might find yourself thinking "that could be" this, or "there are moments of" that, but you are quickly transported away to another moment, another thought, another sound, another shot at honesty. Always a gifted songwriter, Lydia gives the full and sometimes terrifying, sometimes ecstatic force to the word "real." Struggles between balance and outburst, infectious choruses fronting emotional torment are sung with a sneer, a spit, or a tenderness and openness that is both intensely personal and relatably universal. It is, as the title suggests, real.
1. Same To You
3. More Than Ever
5. Out On Love
6. Midwestern Guys
Like the heroine of Scheherazade’s The Arabian Nights, their longevity sometimes depends on leaving their audience hanging. It is a release of familiarity as much as it is one of change, one that is distinctly different, but never loses sight of what it is that makes them Freakwater: It's new blood from a familiar vein.
Anchored around the fragile and compelling harmonies of Janet Bean and Catherine Irwin and the subdued, oracular bass playing of Dave Gay, their utterly unique sound is distilled from many sources. There’s the elemental ache and loss in the soil & limestone of Kentucky and the songs & struggles that passed over the Atlantic from the British Isles centuries ago. There’s the energy and freedom in the ratty punk clubs of Louisville and Chicago at a time when rules and formalities were meant to be ignored. At once bluegrass, blues, folk, and country, it is also none of them; Freakwater is not dealing in historical artifacts. Rather, it is a product of two voices intertwined with one another for over three decades, creating a sound that might be best summarized as Appalachian soul.
Includes guest appearances from Warren Ellis (Nick Cave) and Eleventh Dream Day's Jim Elkington.
When asked about the methods and the madness behind capturing the scorched earth soul of Under the Savage Sky, guitarist Peter Greenberg explained that the band was eager for something "harder and garagier" than their previous record, while still connecting with the energy and originality of the classics. Given that the previous release, Dig Thy Savage Soul (their 2013 Bloodshot debut and first U.S. release in a couple decades), was a 12-round sonic knockout, the R&B wallop of Under the Savage Sky may very well stand for ‘Roundhouse & Beatdown.’ There’s no harder hitter than frontman Barrence Whitfield of Boston, MA. When he hits the boards with the Savages, you’re either gonna ride the energy or be crushed by it. We’re talking Joe Louis, Howlin’ Wolf, Wilson Pickett, Smokin’ Joe Frazier. Barrence has what these greats all possessed, the one thing a trainer cannot teach a fighter: a lust for mayhem.
The wilder, louder, more insane the Savages bring it, the more BW is ready to attack the mic, to bring it high, to bring it low, to wear you down on the ropes, and eventually drop you. With the raw vocals, thick and nasty guitar tones, and preternaturally locked-in rhythm section, Under the Savage Sky might be the most soulful punk record - or perhaps the most punk soul record - you’ve ever heard. Compact, three minute-or-less blasts rocket back to the explosive heydays of The Dirtbombs and genre godfathers The Sonics. Under The Savage Sky rains soul and brimstone from the heavens. Keep your eyes to the sky... ain’t no umbrella gonna help you here.
With its raw vocals, thick and nasty guitar tones, and preternaturally locked-in rhythm section, Under the Savage Sky might be the most soulful punk record (or the most punk soul record) you’ve ever heard, raining soul and brimstone from the heavens.
Shindig Issue #49 - superb 4**** review "rocks like a broken gate in a hurricane, this recording is in your face and in your feet".
Dipping their gut-bucket deep into the well of America’s dirty musical soul, Barrence & the Savages’ sound is a sweaty elixir that enlivens, exorcises, and energizes on Dig Thy Savage Soul. “The Corner Man” bursts out of the gate, as much a child of the Sonics as a father to the Dirtbombs; it’s the Savage-Mobile neutral-slamming out of the garage. “My Baby Didn’t Come Home” and the love letter to the iconoclastic Oscar Levant (a man in chaos in search of frenzy...Google it, man.) burn with a roguish swamp mojo; bonus points for the killer jump-soul horn section. On “Daddy’s Gone to Bed” and the badass Jerry McCain tune “Turn Your Damper Down,” Peter Greenberg’s guitar plays like the lost Sun Records collaboration between Howlin’ Wolf and Carl Perkins. “Hangman’s Token” starts as a low-fi hill country shimmy harkening back to the early days of Fat Possum Records that then explodes into a tasty hard rock feast.
Out front, Barrence is preaching to a congregation we definitely want to join. “Bread,” a Bobby Hebb B-side done with a Glimmer Twin strut, has Barrencematter-of-factly distilling all the nuance, confusion, and frustration of any relationship into the simple inarguable truth: “Only one thing in this here world/ to make you popular with all the girls/ and that’s BREAD/ that’s what I said.” Lee Moses’s “I’m Sad About It” is a slow burn gospel headbanger, conjuring a completely unhinged Al Green tossing sweat and blood soaked scarves from a fiery pulpit. Sho’ nuff. Where’s that towelette, again?
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