There’s a whole lotta shaking going on down on Neverland Ranch as this three-piece explosion of the blues, Rock n Roll, Experimental Rock, Post Punk and whatever else they decide to throw into the pot.
Guitarist/singer Tex Mosley: one-time alumnus of Philly’s legendary Afro-punks Pure Hell is driving the bus at NRD There’s a healthy dose of minimalist R & B happening on ‘Fat Back’ that reminds me of Vintage Trouble when they weren’t performing ballads mixed with a shade of Jon Spencer Blues Explosion. ‘Aqua Velveteen’ carries on this journey with the sparseness growing and getting more trippy. Pat Todd cited Suicide as an influence when describing the band’s sound and I hear that here its certainly not frantic like Jon Spenser but the use of feedback and the blues is all here. It’s like the morning after the night before – you can’t remember much but you sure as hell know you had a good time.
The band can also rock it up, ‘Liquor Store’ has some street-wise attitude that sounds like they’re riding the local bucking bronco with a beer in one hand and the other hitting a snare drum without a care in the world. It’s a simple time-honored formula this Rock and Roll when done right. Knocking out a rhythm and putting some words down before breaking it up with a whacked-out solo that’s trying to tame that fuzz n feedback before it’s too late.
The guys in the band are just rolling with it and kicking out the jams on ‘Solid Monkey Blues’ playing it straight no bullshit I’m sure Iggy would approve.
The band operates without a bass player and figured The Cramps didn’t need one (most of the time) and neither did the Gories so NRD gave it a miss as well.
Side two kicks off with an instrumental jig before ‘Boys Don’t Cry’ brings in layered gang vocals over some big melody and some cool lyrics to reflect the laid-back tempo that is almost horizontal. ‘Hen House’ gets a little funky and loose and has the same vibe early Lenny Kravitz once possessed when he was letting love rule. These cats have got the chops to pull this off you know, the album grows when you let it breathe and drip into your brain.
‘Stigmata’ has the feel that you’ve heard this before laying down some ’80s Keith Richard chops on that riff if he floated down a different path. ‘Knee On My Neck’ is heavy and is one of the highlights of the album that to be fair has plenty of highs. The record signs off with ‘I Believe To My Soul’ which is a brooding number with some excellent vocals and harmonising on top of a really strong arrangement that again doesn’t overcook the instruments and keeps it to a minimum or just enough to deliver the goods something Neverland Ranch Davidians do over and over again on this excellent album. If you’re looking for a pointer then I’d suggest you look no further than the Buy Here button below you won’t regret it.
Author: Dom Daley