Wednesday, May 12, 2004


Posted By on Wed, May 12, 2004 at 12:00 AM

As the band’s bio says, Louisville’s least favorite sons are back. And this ain’t yer mama’s brand of Louisville rock ’n’ roll, not the kind that spawned math-rock goobers Slint some 15 years ago, or, more recently, psychedelic twangbearers My Morning Jacket. As hosted by the Motor City’s hugely underrated Small Stone label, this is lewd ’n’ crude, hi-octane drill-press rawk aimed at discriminating fans of such stoner skree as Fu Manchu, Nebula, Clutch and Monster Magnet. (The latter’s Ed Mundell in fact, turns up here, along with Big Chief’s Phil Durr and Small Stone head Scott Hamilton.)

The album kicks off with “Twenty-five Cents,” an ur-riffage thudder of medieval proportions, which is quickly followed by bass-heavy thrasher “Barn Party” and the Southern Rock-inclined “Oil Pan.” The gears duly primed, the ’pack then shifts into overdrive mode. A throbbing, malevolent reading of “Gimme Shelter” out-death-trips the old Sisters Of Mercy cover (for that matter, it out-thuds the Grand Funk version too), with vocalist “Dirty” Dave Johnson — whose shredded-larynx, distorto-vox style is a Glasspack signature — sending psychic shout-outs to every ready-to-rumble, cue-stick-wielding Hell’s Angel within earshot. Another high point is “Hairsoup,” a wah-wah flecked space jam (instrumental, save some wordless shrieks) straight outta Monster Magnet territory. And “Peepshow,” also an instro, is a storm-troopin’, blues-based riffer featuring some ferocious Nuge-style licks from guest ax-man Mundell.

Bottom line: When you climb onboard the Glasspack, expect a hang-on-tight, white-knuckler of a ride. And there’ll be no pit stops to take a whiz, so handle your business beforehand.

E-mail Fred Mills at


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