Tuesday, February 12, 2008

P. W. Long - "God Bless the Drunkard's Dog" (Black Diamond Records 2006)

God Bless the Drunkard’s Dog rips, howls, moans and shreds its way out of you speakers and leaves you for dead. I’m not kidding. Loyal readers may recall a review from a couple of months ago for the Young James Long EP You Ain't Know the Man and my mentioning that it was the music you’d hear while getting your teeth kicked in outside a sleazy roadhouse. Well, these are the same fellas, only P.W. Long seems to have full artistic control here. This record leaps from full on Southern Rock that shows the world in no uncertain terms what a pussy Bob Seger is (if you don’t already think Seger is a pussy, you will after listening to this record) to mellower introspections on the heartless bitch that brought a whole town to its knees to loud, raunchy blues that are not just about situations you don’t want to be involved in, but don’t even want to know about. The man has a gift that rivals Bukowski for giving you a visceral taste of both the seedier side of things and the personal hell that led him there. Not without a sense of humor. The man’s a goddamn cipher.

It’s difficult to speak of specific songs as the track list seems to bear little relation to the actual song order. “Crazy Tonight” is one that stands out with its distorted, bluesy riff, immediately reminiscent of Long’s previous project Mule, and a growling lyric that strongly implies you probably don’t want to be around when this guy goes from “feeling crazy tonight” to acting on it. In any case, the song titles don’t matter. Every single one of them has teeth and they’ve got a taste of your blood. Too bad there’s nowhere for you to hide and you just need to ride this one out. In the end, it’s worth it. This album kicks more ass than a skinhead at a love-in.

Long seems dedicated to making it increasingly difficult to find his stuff. He apparently had to be bothered mercilessly by his friends to make this record, and finally only did on the condition it be released only on vinyl. Southern Records created vinyl only subsidiary Black Diamond Records just to get this wax out there. With that kind of dedication you know there’s something going on you should be checking out.

This isn’t much of a review, I know. More a testimonial. I’ll get back to the real reviews for the next one. In the meantime go online or head over to the last record store in your town that carries vinyl and pick this motherfucker up. After you spit your teeth out you’ll thank me for the recommendation.

3 out of 4, just because it’s a little less focused and introspective than his last effort. That doesn’t mean it can’t kick your ass.

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