By Deadstring Brothers
The beginning of 2009 saw one of Josh Homme's many side projects, Eagles of Death Metal, release 'Heart On,' a kind of classic rock concept album; deliberately pitched as being semi-pastiche. Detroit's Deadstring Brothers manage to serve up the real deal with this bluesy, ballsy, sweat-grease-and-blood-stained record that shakes with chainsaw-like guitar chords and shudders with thudding drumbeats.
You can learn everything you need to know about the Deadstring Brothers from the title track of the album, 'Sao Paulo.' The sound of aching blues guitar dominates and together with Kurt Marschke's vocals, rips through you like a lethal cocktail of gravel, grit and whiskey. Beware, listeners are installed with instant snarling, swaggering attitude.
This is a bar brawl of a record. A punch up between old fashioned rock and roll pianos, unashamed country and western organs, fiddles and accordions and flashes of soul searching, screeching and grunting blues guitar riffs. A great sense of nostalgia emanates from this record, a harder, more abrupt version of what The Duke and the King have recently, and excellently brought to the table with 'Nothing Gold Can Stay,' which like this Deadstring Brothers album, seem to hark back to a time of non-guilt-laden cigarette advertising and gas guzzling V8 Fords.
Essentially, the Deadstring Brothers have stuck to their guns and poured their hearts into the kind of no bullshit, raw rock and roll that they know and love. Some might see this as "Yesterday's Style," but this is exactly the point. Anyone that can deliver lines like "I made my way down that dusty road / With an old mule and me alone / In that valley I found true evil," without committing the same kind of rock mimicry that Tenacious D and Eagles of Death Metal have surrendered to, demands respect.