Those Howlings “Manifest Blasphemy” (Swear Jar, 2013)
Not to be confused with the like-minded and similarly-named Nashville loonies Those Darlins, this Texan (via Chicago) trio’s debut album is comprised of Tascam cassette home recordings that’re catchy as hell and go down as smooth as a worm-encrusted bottle of tequila. Only the good stuff from these cowpokes! Garagey rockabilly seems to be the order of the day, with the jaunty title track setting the stage for the alcohol-fueled, slap happy two-steppers to follow. Alleged twins Kyle Fitzgerald and Jolie Cota Flink lead us through their sweat-inducing floorfillers with reckless abandon and a good ol’ sense of drunkin’ Saturday night fun. It’s the B-52’s with shit-kicking lizard-skin boots!
The vocals may be a little out of tune, but that just demonstrates the DIY spirit of adventure that went into these heartfelt recordings. And when Jolie gurgles her way through the blink-and-you-missed-it “Drown My Baby” like Minnie Pearl on a bender, you know that F-U-N is the name of the game here! Elsewhere, there’s shades of fellow Texas wackos Red Crayola in the vibrattoed cowpunk of “Jawbone”, a tip of the dome to acid pranksters Camper van Beethoven (“Don’t Let Them See You Cry”), and the what-the-fuck-was-that, singalong campfire ditty “Devil You Lose”, including strangulated geetar solos and screaming banshee vocals that illustrate where the band’s name came from! All in all, it’s more fun than pounding a couple of 40s at a Saturday night hootenanny!
Review made by Jeff Penczak/2013
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