Posts Tagged ‘blues punk’

The Neckbones

Saturday, June 20th, 2009

The Lights Are Getting Dim LP
Fat Possum Records, 1999

Goddamn I love summer. Even when that nasty midwestern humidity sets in with that thick, earthy, weedish smell that permeates everything outside air conditioned safety zones, when you can literally sit in a chair, do nothing and work up a major sweat. I understand not liking it — it can be quite unpleasant after all — buy hey, I’ll take this over frigid cold anyday, and that’s what I love about the Neckbones. Hailing from Oxford, Mississippi, the Neckbones know about hot, stanky heat and they’ve captured that heat perfectly in their sultry blues punk. Like most jaded fucks, I cringe at most bands trying to do the “punk blues” thing, since there are few that have hit that mark well and tons of retread garage punk bands that attempt to ape some classic blues and R&B elements and end up sounding like tedious facsimiles of the real deal without any heart. Cooking up some righteously bluesy riffs and vocals, plus some maracas, organ, piano, and even some sax courtesy of Jack Oblivian, the Neckbones are as real as it gets when you’re needing some down home, hot ass, greasy Southern-fried blues punk. A Boston Phoenix review called them “a cross between the early Rolling Stones and The Dead Boys,” which I agree with wholeheartedly if you add The Stooges as a midpoint reference to their lineage, since the Neckbones pack an Asheton-sized guitar whallop into their songs. Just sample the 3 tracks below from their classic The Lights Are Getting Dim album and get ready to have a new soundtrack for summer.


The Neckbones – “Cardiac Suture”
The Neckbones – “Goodbye Ramona”
The Neckbones – “You’re All Winners”


The Neckbones on MySpace
The Neckbones on Fat Possum Records

Railroad Jerk

Saturday, February 14th, 2009

Younger Than You / Ballad of Jim White 7″
Matador, 1991

Judging by the amount of unsold Railroad Jerk LPs I’ve seen around and the neglect of any mention of this stellar single on or, this NYC band never got the love it deserved. Once upon a time they were critically acclaimed and had a coveted touring slot with Extra-Width-era Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, yet somehow, anytime I play this or their excellent Third Rail LP for people it’s some big revelation and discovery. They caught my ear on the Matador label’s 1990 New York Ear & Eye Control compilation, from when the label was a little more adventurous, with a skronking, noisy mess of a song entitled “From The Pavement,” which I’ve included below. Railroad Jerk’s later releases became more polished and conventional, and presumably palatable to collegiate/indie/alt-country types, while their early work, like The JSBX, was a seamless amalgamation of raw punk noise with classic blues influences. In Railroad Jerk’s case, the blues influence had more of a chugging (in a non-metallic sense) railway hobo sound, with twangy vocals layered on top of sharp no-wave shards of bands like Mars, DNA, or Teenage Jesus & The Jerks. This early no-wave abrasiveness and snottiness, softened in later releases, is demonstrated perfectly on this single with two great songs only available on this 45.


Railroad Jerk – “Younger Than You”
Railroad Jerk – “Ballad of Jim White”

Railroad Jerk – “From The Pavement”
from New York Eye & Ear Control compilation