I’ll be honest –
at first I thought ‘Ah, another zombie-cowpunk band’ with that distorted, almost 50s Reefer-Madness-boogie device and after a song, my complacent brain said, ‘Yeah. I’ve been here before but I’ll nod out the rest of the album just to relive the bad old days.’
For anyone who doesn’t know or has somehow stumbled on this due to my applying all the ‘recommended’ tags, the bad old days were when I was in a punk band, had a shaved head and listened to a lot of 80s punk, ska, reggae, rockabilly and r’n’b [no, the original Rhythm ‘n’ Blues, not what you’re thinking.] Of course, by bad, I mean pretty good for my age – it certainly shifted a lot of testosterone.
I was wrong about Munly & The Lee Lewish Harlots’ self titled LP. As soon as the second song hit, it was more than the sum of what I’d heard of cowpunk before now – after all, it’s not really cowpunk.
Not once you’ve finished the album.
There are violin licks that soar heights on some tracks that on the next become buzzsaws.
Some sparse, some overlaid – songs of rum and whisky, respectively.
It’s not a perfect album by any means: the lyrics are often unsubtle but are meant to be so to shift your complacency and your expectations, this may end with you liking them when you can tell the lyricist is having you on but it’s still disjunctive, even if refreshingly so; some of the lyrics are grotesque [I am no longer offended by the grotesque and use it in this case not as slur but as the grotesque, as defined by Bakhtin] but again purposefully so – it just shook me a little because the singer’s voice is so individually haunted.
Alright, I’ve banged on enough.
Let me just say that, to me, the stand out tracks were:
Big Black Bull comes like a Caesar
Old Service Road
Another song about Jesus, a wedding sheet, and a bowie knife
Goose Walking over my Grave
the leavening of the spit-bread girls
A Denver Boot redux
Of Silas Fauntleroys…[hence the post title]
and all the songs that follow.
yes that is almost all of them.
Go listen – yes, on my recommendation – here.