Song: Nowhere’s Back
I saw this Ann Arbor/Detroit act at Toronto’s venerable Sneaky Dee’s one night back in ’91 when they were touring their debut self-titled album. I was taken aback by their menacing, grim intensity. Right from the start it was a sonic bombardment - if memory serves, they opened up with Mississippi Breaks. A rude revelation - frantic, merciless bass lines and steel-tinged, hella loud guitar coming off like angry buzz saws loosed on an unsuspecting world. The lean, lanky guitarist shouting furiously into the mic over a detonating rhythm section, equally angry and relentless. The sound frontman P. W. Long was getting through his amp - pure ear-shredding tone. Combine that with Kevin Munro’s inspired bass and Jim Kimball’s drumming barrages and the resultant snarly gumbo had a blissfully deranged, energetic purity. What a hot live act.
This one is one of their “tamer” songs, from 1994’s If I Don’t Six. Slow and simmering out the gate, it’s like raw, stripped-down blues fed through a high-voltage meat grinder. Low-key, faintly eldritch swells of organ contrast nicely with the steely, angular guitar fills; a simple, primeval beat carries it all. Long’s singing, angry and mournful all at once, is something to hear - at its peak it’s hoarse and anguished. There’s something epic about his delivery - like he’s testifying before a merciless court.
Posted by Max MacDonald