This foursome, from Hartland, Wisconsin offers up their first
release Best Wishes, a collection of off-the-wall,
naïve yet witty, gonzo-guitar driven rock, full of flavor.
There's a certain, rough Speedball Baby mix to it all.
It's unpredictable, in your mug, farcical, psycho-plotting,
kind of like Jonathan Richmond on acid.
Todd Westover, who gained notoriety as the drummer
of the Bellrays started working on his own material
in L.A. back in 1999, eventually recruiting the likes of Lutefisk's
"Dallas" Burnet on guitar and Skabba
the Hut's Chris Miller on the drum kit. To complete
the outfit, Jeff Porterfield, of Texas Terri &
the Stiff Ones joined up for bass and vocal duties.
The fun starts with "Big Orange Moonrise"you're
so cool, and incredible, you get me high, when I'm already
high... and that's a theme that runs throughout this disk.
Once you think you've reached the climax, you realize you're
only getting higher with each inventive Boomtown Rat-ish
guitar lick, or cockeyed lyric. Some of the more "sing
along" moments remind one of the Meat Puppets
on one of their "better" albums or Pavement
in full-out rock melt-down mode.
On their flip version of John Lennon's "Well,
Well, Well", and their classic "Shitcanned",
the Elbow achieves a more "I don't care if you think
it's stupid" kind of foolhardiness, rather than simply
"non-sensical" humor just to be funny.
"I was standing at the window, looking at the land,
when they drove up in their Chrysler, three women and a
man / they all had a briefcase and that certain kind of
stance, they walked in and closed the door and I knew...
we were Shitcanned!"
True to form, energy and absurdity grow with each passing
track. In "Little Freaked Out", a certain moody
Boom Boom Band ambiance drives us invariably towards
more feedback and loose-lipped lyrics. Lastly, but not leastly,
check-out the seemingly spontaneous backwards intro to "Walking
Mans Blues", where the band plays and sings in
reverse! Blurred and badly beaten brilliance that gets better
with each listen. "Cmon little Bucky!"
Big Orange Moonrise
Look At You
Well, Well, Well
Little Freaked Out
Walking Man's Blues
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