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| 3 May 2017 | Reply

February 2017
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar

The clock ticks ever onwards, but the heart of the blues remains the same, decade in and decade out: guitar, harp, drums and tales of life and loss and love, for the most part.

The Hollerin’ Sluggers – as punk a blues band name as we can recall – are a Sydney trio, and their mojo is strong on this second album which takes us on a journey through the Louisiana swamps, through the Texan sun, and the Californian desert.

Drummer Andy Thor’s harmonica wails heavy over a fuzzed-up boogie shuffle as they’re Going Up The River searching for catfish, while Tim Cramer’s bass pulses seductively behind Owen Mancell’s boogie guitar and vocals.

Shut Up And Dance is as propulsive as a rocket, before Rockin’ Saturday Night turns the fuzz to eleven for a high octance, heavy groove boogie misadventure. Train To Nowhere is a great railroad blues, the harp wailing like a mournful horn, the lyrics juxtaposing the pointlessness of the journey with the exhortations for everyone to climb on board. As far as existential angst goes, it’s as close to the bone as it gets.

Five Cent Fool sees the band in anti-authoritarian mode, delivering a vitriolic diatribe against the powers that be, over a quiet-loud-quiet bedrock: “remember this fool is a lilar – tell me something I don’t already know”!

You’ll be wiping seat off your brow from the swampy humidity of Nothing You Haven’t Tried, while the mean ass swagger of City Streets see the band swtch tack from rural to urban commentary.

Low slung and hipster-free, The Hollerin’ Sluggers deliver rockin’ blues just like it was meant to sound: gritty, full of strut and swagger, and devoid of facile posturing.

Category: CD Reviews

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