Dragon or Emperor favor a bass & drum line-up, heavy-fuzz sound, and inspired, cathartic, meaningless caterwauling. Occasionally, they approach the sound of Lightning Bolt. There are, though, in the vocal intensity and fleet-footedly fluid approach to structure, echoes of great bands like Family and the desperately neglected Back Door, who in Colin Hodgkinson boasted one of the most soulful and thrillingly combustive players to ever strap on a bass. A controlled vocal hysteria similar to the patented shrieks of Pere Ubu’s David Thomas and the first Damned record is matched by raging energy and whirling rhythm. “Piano” almost interrupts a session at Coco Rosie’s house, murders the Cassady sisters, and has a nice rest. “Your Success” wisely doesn’t quite dare to channel Mark E. Smith, but is still a success. A raucous release from the uncompromisingly good Pickled Egg label.
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// Notes from the Road
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