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CD REVIEW: JAW HORSE – Slum City [+ back catalogue]

| 12 April 2016 | Reply

CD REVIEW: JAW HORSE – Slum City [+ back catalogue]
July 2015
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar

Jaw Horse - Slum City

Jaw Horse are the sort of band who make pigeon holing music into sub-genres completely pointless, such is the diversity on show across their two albums and two Eps.

Desperate punks trying to fuck their instruments to death to escape the drudgery of normal life, their music is raw, aggressive, obnoxious, loud… catchy, raucous, fun, funny and dangerous. At times they are punk to most, metal to some, even outlaw Americana or garage-boogie-punk to whoever’s listening. They’re probably an anathema to many, but a damn fine addition to any collection to 100% ROCK.

In mid-2015 they released the excellent Slum City album, and their latest offering is a free digital-only Halloween EP available through their Bandcamp page. Since they were generous enough to send us their entire back catalogue on CD, let’s tell the musical Jaw Horse journey from the start…

Jaw Horse - Cancer Creek

The five-piece’s 2012 debut Cancer Creek is 12 tracks of raw ‘fuck you’ power and noise, like Nashville Pussy loudly fucking The Exploited in the trunk of a Chevy full of bathtub speed and toilet bowl moonshine. It’s music to commit crime to, and is probably illegal in many places.

Jaw Horse - Return To Cancer Creek

The Return To Cancer Creek EP followed in 2014, showing a more boogie-metal edge to the punk mayhem, possibly due to them actually learning to play a little more. With anthemic self-destructo anthems like Party, Snake It In, Rich Girls, a pit brawling take on Sonny Boy Williamson’s Good Morning Little School Girl, and a version of The Beatles Helter Skelter that should soundtrack every horror movie ever, it’s as good a slab of DIY disaster rock as we’ve heard.

Jaw Horse dropped to a four-piece for their 2015 ten-track redneck party-on-wax Slum City, but you wouldn’t know it as hair flies, guitars riff, and madness lurks menacingly in every shadow. The band pay homage to cheap plonk (Screw Top Wine), big girls (Heavy Momma), and the self-explanatory Peckerheads On Reds, Street Harassment, Whiskey Business, before the country punk stagger of Women Rearing, and finishing with something completely different in the epic 13-minute mostly-acoustic country murder ballad Sweet Georgia Pine. A definite musical progression, with more boogie-punk and some new directions than its predecessors, Slum City kicks all the right boxes like it was made at the tail end of a particularly nasty three-day bender.

Jaw Horse - Halloween

Finally (for now) there’s the Halloween EP, released late 2015, for these musically restless garage-boogie-punk souls, which pays homage to four of the best, most obscure garage tracks of all time: Mitch Ryder & the Detroit Wheels’ Devil With The Blue Dress On, Roky Erickson’s I Walked With A Zombie, CCR’s It Came Out Of The Sky and Little Red Riding Hood from Sam The Sham & the Pharoahs! It’s a mellower affair than all that’s come before, but no less dark and menacing, and as Jaw Horse continue to evolve and explore, we’re sure they have lots more surprised up their sleeves.

Category: CD Reviews

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Editor, 100% ROCK MAGAZINE

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