“Zappa party tunes” was how a toiler at San Francisco’s world-famous Amoeba Music pitched to me the sextet known as Battlehooch. Originally from Santa Cruz and now Fogtown locals, the band’s art-damaged sonic strategies, mismatched thrift store getups and occasional subway guerrilla gigs have stirred up quite the commotion around the Bay Area. On this full-length, self-titled debut, Battlehooch handily snaps up the baton of abstract musical adventure from forebears like the aforementioned Frank Zappa.
Yes, it’s Prog-Rock by any other epithet, but it’s imbued with an appetite for raunch and discord that adds a sheen of sinewy surprise to the music’s more formalist aspects. Nifty interplay between saxophone and guitar on “Ringtone” is one highlight; the dour, Bley/Rota-like melody and vocal chorale of ‘Red Tide’ another. This eight-song aural kaleidoscope, Battlehooch, signs off deftly with ‘Honest’, juxtaposing sweet back-porch banjo and vocal harmonies with a guitar solo as sinuous as a David Gilmour-bred reptile.
// Sound Affects
"The man whose songs were recorded by Johnny Cash, Alan Jackson, Ricky Skaggs, David Allan Coe, The Highwaymen, and countless others succumbs to time’s cruel cue that the only token of permanence we have to offer are the effects of shared moments and memories.READ the article