Feb 26, 2010

the BASSHOLES " ...and without a name (Archive Series Vol. 7) " LP

When (and if) the book is wrote on the BluesPunk masters of the late 20th century & beyond Bassholes main man better have a whole chapter dedicated to him. Since the mid 80's, when he first started making a ruckus with the Gibson Brothers, he has been making a mark and leaving a stain. Though the last few years one of his other projects, the somewhat psych & artier (there's clarinets & keyboards in the songs for the devil's sake) end of cowtown stomp skronk of Wooden Tit, has been what his kept it name out there for the (actual) record buying public when the moon is right it's time for him to fill a jelly jar full of ice with corn liquor and wail them stories of desperation, depression and general pissed-offness.
If my count is correct this is their 12 album (and I didn't bother to count all the singles) and is one their most unhinged (even by Howland's usual bent brain standards) & unruly records ever.
"Little Boy Blues" kickstarts the album with the rattling of some spring reverb, followed by a drumroll which cues a maelstrom of blown out guitar splatter and some harmonica that sounds as if it was soaked in a can of gasoline all night. "Mother Goosed" follows it with something along the same pattern but sans harmonica and it's it place a voodoo beat that's sounds like it was recorded in the middle of a huge cavern. For contrast the tune after it, "(I Like) Smoke & Lightning", has a feeling of being in the bottom of a well as blood drips down from the light above.
Things quickly get back to the brain bashing and ear searing with the Cramps fighting to be heard of the sound of a jet engine turbine on "The Way I Came" while the tension building instrumental "Swannanoa River" is so epic it fades out on side one only to be continued on side two. A very smashed up version of Iggy Pop's "New Values" is next done in a way even Mr Osterberg wouldn't even have dreamed up in his most narco influenced dreams. "(Don't You) Look At Me" is the closest thing to a number most old white guys with thousands of dollars of guitar equipment would consider "the rockin' blues" but the twisted reverb and pure disgust towards such people and things that is conveyed what send them clamoring for shelter under the nearest Clapton gatefold seed they could find (and hopefully no pot seeds or shake weed found in it because then they'd have to explain to their children about the life they led before they joined the church of Ronald Reagan). The cover of Tommy Jay's (who also makes an appearance on the track beating on a tom tom) "Tough Luck, Roy" would keep them under their hiding too. In the end though all the audio violence finds peace with itself with the almost pretty guitar only figure "Funerarium"
It's been quite some time since Bassholes records have found them in close proximity to my turntable. This one has been close to it since the day it arrived in the mail. Their back catalog is now quickly following suit. Thanks to Columbus Discount Records for reminding us all what we've been forgetting and what our grimy souls crave.
http://columbusdiscountrecords.com/

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