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Askew Review 15

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- The Bad In Me (Rumble Club Records) Let’s just say that in an alternate universe, if I was a hard drinkin’, grizzled, old cattleman and The Bad In Me was actually my prize steer (a scenario that I’m sure you can easily imagine), I’d have absolutely no problem branding a big, honkin’ Q on its ass. And that would be really saying something, since you know my goddamn name don’t begin with no Q. Indeed, my friends, the third release by Rumble Club, Kentucky’s fine rockabilly/psychobilly/hellbilly/fill-in-your-own-appropriate-blank-abilly combo, is QUALITY First USDA Prime (And please forgive the lame beef pun I just trade to make vis-à-vis my opening sentence. I promise I’ll stop this shit right now). I think the thing that impresses me most about this disc is how versatile and well written it is. Seriously- these tooled up, backwoods badasses nimbly go from singing about an outlaw being hanged to a psychobilly nutcase to Lindsay Lohan’s poor driving habits to love in an internet chat room- among other things- yet it all sounds authentic and pure, regardless of subject matter. Jack Coray’s voice is as deep and clear and appealing as ever, his lead guitar work is both torrid (especially on the blazing Spaghetti Western-like “Pasos Largos”) and perfectly understated, depending on a song’s need, and Rumble Club’s rhythm section is tight and caustic and rules just as it always has. And lyrically, Jack is at the absolute top of his game.
   Here are a few of the standouts: “Lonesome Gunman Traveler”- Possibly my favorite cut here, it’s the sad tale of a betrayed man whose violent actions haunt him in the end. It lopes along beautifully and features a simple-yet-anthemic, totally infectious lead guitar; “Lonely Hearts Chat Room”- Reminds me of something ol’ Roger Miller (of “King of the Road,” “Dang Me” and “Chug-A-Lug” fame, not the dude from Mission of Burma, ya disruptive, nitpicky sumbitch) might’ve come up with if he was alive and writing today and hopped up on blue devils. Fun and hilarious and a great piece of modern day observation. The adlibs at the end actually had me laughing out loud; “The Bad In Me”- Great scratch guitar drives this spirited title track about the unique joy found in being an unadulterated sinner; “Young Punks”- Fuzzed out trip down memory lane with irresistibly catchy vocal phrasing; “Brakes Are Burning Coal”- Poetic and dark lyrics describe a deeply personal account of some sort of veiled bit of strife. Musically, it feels like a smooth gallop headlong into the psyche of the American West. Helluva good song; “The Desert”- A bouncing basher that puts a new spin on the maddening power and appeal and dangerousness of the desert (in a fun way, no less) and exposes America’s “Horse With No Name” as the hippie claptrap it truly is.
   Best new release I’ve heard thus far in 2009.- Ben Hunter


The Bad In Him  

A quick Q&A with Rumble Club’s Jack Coray:

Some filmmakers and visual artists have claimed to be inspired by a band like the Ramones. Conversely, are there any non-music influences that shape what you do as Rumble Club? And are there any unlikely bands or singers that have influenced you? If you can’t come up with any, we can always just put down Dionne Warwick if you’d like.  

Bands would be Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Swans, and Fear. Other influences are all three of the famous Spaghetti westerns by Sergio Leone, old pulp novels, famous outlaws of the old west, shit I went through back in my punk days out in SLC, Hot Rods and booze!  

I Googled “Sam Joe Harvey” (The Bad In Me’s rollicking opening track) and “The Youngers” (previous release In Case of Rumble’s crankin’ opener) to see if you were writing about real historical figures, and I found Sam Joe Harvey right away. I'm guessing the SLC connection with him influenced you writing that track? As far as the Youngers go, I had a harder time locating info on them (and by harder time, I mean that nothing of substance, other than a possible link to the James Gang, came up on page one of my search and I was too lazy to follow it any further). Also true historical figures, or did you create them yourself?  

Yea, Sam Joe Harvey murdered my Great-Great-Grandpa "Andrew Hill Burt".  

(BH Note: After Jack told me this, I went back and took another look at this song’s lyrics and it gave me chills)

The Youngers is strictly fictional. I was just thinking about three southern boys raising hell. Not related to the James gang.

Let’s talk about covers. You did your own delightful take of Golden Earring’s “Twilight Zone” on your first disc. Any more improbable covers in your current set list? For some reason I can picture you guys giving a whole new twist to a ska classic like “A Message To You Rudy” or maybe firing into an old Frank Sinatra number, possibly “The Way You Look Tonight” or some such thing.  

We do a mean 'billy version of "I wanna be sedated" and "Call of the Wreckin' Ball" by The Knitters.  

I always like asking bands this one. What’s the best misheard lyric to one of your songs? And this would be excluding the time I thought that “The Youngers are raisin’ Cain” was actually “The Youngers were raised in a cave.”  

Ha! Yea I remember you saying that. Another good one was "The Young Girls are at it again!" or from The Devils Shadow "Late at night wetting my bed when I'm all alone"!



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