Monday, January 10, 2011

Rock 'n' Roll Roundup

The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion - Dirty Shirt Rock ‘n’ Roll (Shout Factory, 2010) The Explosion isn’t a blues band per se, but an indie/punk rock band steeped in the blues and other American roots music. This compilation covers their records released in the preceding ten years, a fascinating combination of snarling punk like the live version of “F--- S--- Up”which shows the dynamism of their live shows. Blasting rock ‘n’ roll is also the order of the day with the uptempo “Bellbottoms.”Blues legend R.L. Burnside recorded a couple of albums with the band (to the horror of purists) and from their collaboration we get a torrid version of “Shake ‘em On Down.” This is a interesting introduction to one of the most interesting and multi-faceted rock ‘n’ roll bands of the past few years. Their willingness to experiment with form and genre and their in your face punk ethos make this a gem. Dirty Shirt Rock 'N Roll -

The Greenhorns “****” (Third Man, 2010) The venerable rust belt garage rock band The Greenhorns are back with their first album in several years, with Jack White signing them to his label after poaching several band members for his projects Dead Weather and The Raconteurs. They continue to mine the same 60’s style rock and roll, but they have a twist on the template that makes the music their own. On this disc they add a little more overt soul and R&B to their repertoire, in songs like "Saying Goodbye" and "Better Off Without It" where they lock into a loping groove and ride it well. They can still bare their teeth when necessary like on the blasting rocker "Need Your Love" which has an early garage punk feel like something off a Garage Beat compilation. This was a solid album for fans of straight up rock ‘n’ roll or sixties revival music, perhaps not quite four stars, but worthwhile for the inclined. 4 Stars -

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