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Henry's Funeral Shoe

Everything's for Sale

(Alive; US: 31 Mar 2009; UK: 6 Apr 2009)

Into The Valleys!

There’s nothing radically new on this debut from Henry’s Funeral Shoe, but the guitar and drum combo have a raw, fuzzed-out, garage-boogie attitude and a riff-o-rama sensibility that is pretty endearing. Their sound can be heavy as a 2000 lb. budgie, menacing as a back-alley swaying drunk, and when they crank up the riffing or let rip with some high-octane slide, it’s as transporting as anything by post-Mississippi Fred McDowell. I prefer the slightly more relaxed singing on “Don’t Lose the Rhythm” and “Coming on Through” to the prevalent gruff sub-Waitsean growl. That’s because, at his best, Waits is a poet, whereas Henry’s Funeral Shoe seem to spit out a series of blues-related soundbites with little concern for narrative. At times, I found myself wishing they were singing in Welsh, like possibly the most magnificent group from Wales, Llwbr Llaethog. No real gripes, though, as Everything’s for Sale is an energetic and promising debut, the live show looks simply ferocious, and Henry’s Funeral Shoe is a much better name than the Black Stripes, the White Keys, or ZZ Swansea.

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