Don’t Threaten Me With A Good Time
Bluesdoodles rating: 3 Doodle Paws – a great listen for an album packed with energy, riffs, energy and riffs! It does have some great twists and turns to explore too and I am sure their next one will be even better. .
Upcoming rockers, Dig Lazarus, hail from miscellaneous villages around the fine towns of Nuneaton and Hinkley. The former is famous for being the home of Larry Grayson, the latter where Phil Oakey was born but, for me, near both of these (just off the A5) is the Motor Industry Research Association where I spent a lot of time when I was working…memories of far too many nights in the Hinkley Island Hotel, days driving cars around wet testing circuits etc and nights eating and drinking far too much. Mostly enjoyable!
Anyway, this isn’t ‘Dixon’s Days of Yore’, it’s about this band’s new album called Don’t Threaten Me With A Good Time. The origin of their name is from a Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds album called Dig, Lazarus Dig! in 2008…a very good album if you like the ‘goth, alt. rock’ genre, although this trio are not of that bent. They are a rock band that combines a modern edge with a punk attitude all built around the riff, with drums and bass adding weight and power. This release builds on the 2019 EP, Figure It Out, which had sufficient impact to earn them slots supporting the likes of The Virginmarys, Crobot, Massive Wagons and The Amorettes amongst others.
Opening with forty-two seconds of preaching from Jesse Hughes from the Eagles of Death Metal (complete with an expletive), Sermon, which has atmospheric keys for the potty-mouthed “Reverend Boots Electric” to explain the album title. It leads straight into the first track proper, Road Runner, but not the Bo Diddly one, although the chorus does have a very slight Jonathan Richman echo but it’s all original, rocky and riffy song with suitably sing-a-long sections…and not a “beep, beep” to be heard: I always wished Wily E Coyote and his Acme devices had reigned supreme and he caught that damn bird!
Next up is Never Change and combines grunginess with Sabbathy riffing and a melodic and catchy chorus…sounds strange? It works very well and has, I think, a very short guitar solo but the mix is so low it’s mostly inaudible. Tell Me Why was featured on the recent New Wave Of Classic Rock Volume 1 release and I can see why they elected to go with this: a punky, rocky pop masterpiece with more sing-a-long opportunities. Satisfied starts with a hint of NWOBHM chords before we pull back to more melodic, punky rock but with quality instrumentation and a mild confusing acoustic section to the fade with a flute! It then bursts into frantic drums, bass and riff for the pounding Dexter…again the riff has a hint of Technical Ecstasy era Sabbath, but only if they were more punk.
The title track is abbreviated to DTMWAGT and is one of the strongest tracks as its melodies weave through the riff and keep it punchy until the second surprise ending…this time a few seconds of trumpet gone awry, but I like it. Feel keeps the weight, the catchiness and melodies revolving around the power chords and the time change toward the end adds drama…still no solo though. Joker is my favourite with its blues-based, heavy rock structure; this has more light and shade to accompany the strong vocal and instrumental melodies…two opportunities for a guitar solo, not taken, although we get an oboe at the very end to keep us guessing what’s likely to happen. The next track is heralded by a glorious invention: a bovine alarm…yes, Keep It Clean has a cowbell! It also has another strong riff and an excellent bass line that is nailed to the drums. Beware more expletives appear, paradoxically, bearing in mind the title. Sky Tonight is a little more subtle with the chords struck with a lighter touch…at first, before more weighty melodic punk-tinged rock that has bite. Outlaw sticks to the formula: catchy, heavy rock with imaginative riffing and a neat section that nearly gets a solo.
The final track, Time Froze, begins with an outing for the acoustic guitar before the snare brings in the hefty riff. It also features friend and inspiration Ally Dickaty from The Virginmarys on this longest track (not quite five minutes.) It closes with a two-second burst of the keys from Sermon and (possibly) Jesse saying (possibly) “carrot”…me neither!
I think some would describe this as alt. rock but, as I don’t really know what that means, I’ll stick with descriptions that show the blended approach these guys take as their inspirations and aspirations shine through.
A strong debut that promises much; I would have preferred some serious guitar solos to go with the power riffs and, to be honest, a lot less crash cymbal…Jack is a helluva drummer but, in my humble, it gets lost occasionally as the cymbals mask his dexterity. The whole album more than lives up to their inclusion on the NWOCR compilation because that acronym defines them very nicely, with a baker’s dozen of catchy rock songs.
Bluesdoodles rating: 3 Doodle Paws – a great listen for an album packed with energy, riffs, energy and riffs! It does have some great twists and turns to explore too and I am sure their next one will be even better.
Tell Me Why
Keep It Clean
Release date: 15th October 2021
Ash Tustain – lead vocals and guitars
Atticus Hall-McNair – vocals and bass
Jack Cotterill – drums and percussion
Ally Dickaty (The Virginmarys)
Jesse Hughes (The Eagles of Death Metal)
Recorded and produced by Dave Draper (The Wildhearts)
On tour with the Virginmarys at the following venues
02.10.21 Swindon Level 3
03.10.21 Sheffield Corporation
05.10.21 Bristol Exchange
07.10.21 Stoke Eleven
08.10.21 Sunderland Independent
09.10.21 Edinburgh Opium
10.10.21 Huddersfield Parish
13.10.21 Chester Live Rooms
14.10.21 Hull New Adelphi
15.10.21 Birmingham Dead Wax
16.10.21 Manchester Academy 3
(iTunes took a journey to 1996 and an underrated album from the legend that was, is and always will be Ronnie James Dio; the band Dio and Angry Machines flew in the face of trends of the time and just did what he did best…an album packed with quality, proper heavy rock; try the heavy, varied and epic Institutional Man if you’re unfamiliar with this album (and ignore the cover!))