Friday, May 8, 2009

Here to Ruin Your Groove

The Evil Eye is joining the MP3 blog ranks, and our first post is none other than Antiseen’s 1996 album Here to Ruin Your Groove. The text that follows was taken directly from the first (and currently only) issue of The Evil Eye in print form.

Here to Ruin Your Groove is the record that exemplifies what Antiseen is all about, at least in my opinion. The album kicks it off into high gear early with “Ugly American,” a fast-paced tune with humorous lyrics extolling the virtues of American icons like King Kong, bleached blondes, auto racing, and pro wrestling. Speaking of wrestling, there is also a good stompin’ number titled “Funk U,” paying a fitting tribute to that middle-aged and crazy hardcore rasslin’ legend from the Double Cross Ranch in Amarillo, Texas; Terry Funk, whose in-ring career has spanned four decades. “We Got This Far (Without You)” is an Antiseen anthem if there ever was one, a cowbell-laden “fuck you” to the band’s detractors. The centerpiece of the album is a great song titled “Billy the Kid,” which is of course about one of America’s outlaw icons. A bit different than the standard Antiseen fare, this song sees Jeff Clayton tempering his trademark growl somewhat with favorable results and a chorus that recalls many a great country song that you can’t help but sing along to. Extra flavor that makes the song that much better is the use of a banjo and a Clavichord by engineer Jamie Hoover.

“Self Induced Lobotomy,” “OD For Me,” and “Justifiable Homicide” are all revved-up punk songs that recall the heavy influence the Ramones have had on Antiseen’s sound. There is also a cover of the great Alice Cooper’s “Sick Things,” that disturbingly quiet ditty from Billion Dollar Babies. It sounds considerably different in Antiseen’s hands, and features lead guitar work from Michael Bruce of the Alice Cooper Band. For anyone that is sick of hearing bad Lynyrd Skynyrd covers, Antiseen’s rendition of “Needle and the Spoon” is faithful to the point where the late Ronnie Van Zandt’s brother Johnny contacted the band personally to give his approval. “Fornication” is one of the classic Antiseen songs that seamlessly blends punk and Southern rock, with Clayton scratching on a washboard to boot. And ending the album much like it started is “Fuck All Y’all,” another fast-paced Antiseen classic, re-recorded from their previous LP Eat More Possum. Let’s not forget the odd spoken interludes by Kelly “The Dean of Sods” Dean, which do nothing but add to the overall vibe. I’ve read numerous reviews that make the claim that Antiseen is best as a singles band, but with an album like Here to Ruin Your Groove, that’s certainly up for debate. By and large, not only is this Antiseen’s finest work, but it’s also their most accessible.”

No comments: