Heavy Trash: Going Way Out...

By: Chris Pacifico

Jon Spencer is the type of artist who could make an album while drenched in fermented grain elixir to the point where he can't move or speak, drool oozing out the side of his lips. Or record while revved on uppers he purchased in a truck stop parking lot, buzzing with hummingbird stamina, and it would still be solid recording. Not to say that the second installment of his Heavy Trash side project (with overlooked guitarist Matt Verta-Ray) isn't excellent. It's just a little less grimy than their self-titled debut from two years ago, lacking punch drunk lyrics like "I'm so greasy and I'm so mean/Eatin' fried potatoes and drinkin' gasoline." But, if you enjoyed their first album, you still owe it yourself to pick up Going Way Out With Heavy Trash.

Spencer's unruly drawl is still intact, and it's best that this second tier of psychobilly/honky tonk/punk be remembered for artists like Heavy Trash before the genre plays itself thin like all of those Irish pub-hardcore bands did (cough Flogging Molly cough). Going Way Out sees Verta-Ray being more staccato and tremolo privy, honing in on the rockabilly but also adding more mesquite country flavors from the early days of rock and roll complete with jukeboxes, Wolfman Jack, malt shops and the "Enchantment Under the Sea Dance" from Back to the Future. It's chic and swanky in its own ragged, tattered way, somewhat parallel to the motif and aura of the film Swingers. One can almost hear Vince Vaughn in the background proclaiming, "You're money, baby".

The suede shimmy of "She Baby" reassures the listener that Sam Phillips, Carl Perkins and Joe Strummer are all somewhere looking down with a smile, while "I Want Oblivion" and "Way Out" come off as some sort of tribute to the Blues Explosion album Orange. Spencer's voice has it's own little reverb that follows it around while Heavy Trash give a pat on the back to the American Graffiti soundtrack all the way through, no matter how many styles they take on. All and all, this is a rowdy release so be sure to have it handy the next time you crack a chair or pool cue over somebody's head, go on a high speed chase through the Sun Belt or pick with fight with someone using a broken beer bottle.

JamBase | Badlands
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[Published on: 9/24/07]

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