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Bad Livers
Blood & Mood
Sugar Hill Records 2000


Oh my GAWD! I love everything about this record. EVERYTHING! From the banjo to the sampled drums to the steel guitar, whether fake or real. Bad Livers have done it again! This record is Funny. It’s Honest. It’s Real. It’s GOOD. From the first line of this record, I had no choice but to listen, enthralled.

"Fist Magnet" borders on industrial country music, laden with heavy banjo licks and techno trash beats. Distorted call-and-response vocals discuss the virtues of rodeo clowns and playing banjo by the railroad tracks. "I’m Losing" is to country music what the older Flaming Lips’ songs were to rock music… Heavy, fast, and with some fine steel playing thrown right in. " Little Bitty Town" is laced with folky, back-home acoustic guitars and vocal accents. "I live in a little bitty town, and all we do is just ride around." That’s what the song does, just moseys right along. "Looky Here" is more a collage of noises, than a song, and probably the least desirable track on the album. But all that is redeemed on "Love Songs Suck", where the ‘Livers take their country charm to 10. Fine Steel playing coupled with tongue in cheek countrified lyrics, and a bad ass bass line, contribute to the finesse with which this song is delivered. "Legend Of Sawdust Boogers" begins with a down home commercial for a bar-b-q joint buried under a dragging drumbeat, and moves into a nice swinging gospel ballad. "When the music starts to play, carryin’ all the folks away, from the burden this life will heap upon. But you have without a doubt, left me here and hanging out, when the skies are gray, let the sawdust boogers play." This tune is probably my favorite of the record, and contains a wonderful dueling guitar and steel solo. Of course, "Death Trip" may be my real favorite, as it rides along on waves of bluegrass banjo, and talks of lessons learned through hard living. The album takes a turn to the heavier side with "One More Night in a Hotel", once more very reminiscent of the Flaming Lips’ early years. Woody Guthrie seemingly returns to life in the hard-edged ballad "New York City", a full-on lament for the love of a good woman (or perhaps a bad one). "Man vs. Fate" wraps up the album nicely, with the darkly told tale of a man named Joe who was tested… and the listener is left with the facts to decide whether Joe won the fight, or not.

Like the mighty Sixteen Horsepower, but more fun, and less devil-ish, Bad Livers have created an album full of country mayhem for the masses to enjoy. Two men and a sampler have turned out music before, but never like this. Lock up the kids, and the grandparents. And put on your dancing-no-dancing shoes… Not for the faint of heart, "Blood & Mood" is 10 tracks of wondrous fun, and is available now. My suggestion… Buy it!

--David "polecat" DeVoe

  1. Fist Magnet
  2. I’m Losing
  3. Little Bitty Town
  4. Looky Here
  5. Love Songs suck
  6. The Legend Of Sawdust Boogers
  7. Death Trip
  8. One More Night In A Hotel
  9. New York City
  10. Man vs. Fate – 2 Out Of 3 Falls, 10 Round Limit


Mike Doughty



none now
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