Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Slingshot Taps Classic Left Lane Cruiser

Left Lane Cruiser
Slingshot is a mesmerizing release for some fans of the Lt. Wayne, Indiana, duo Left Lane Cruiser. The album, Slingshot, was recorded long before the band was featured on the hit television show Breaking Bad. Only 200 copies were ever turned out after the session at Temple Recording Studio.

The production is nothing short of an incredibly raw, unpolished and somewhat muddled blues rock and roll excursion that has been lovingly remastered by Hillgrass Bluesbilly Records. The reissue is perfect for anyone wanting more than Rock Them Back To Hell delivered up last September.

Slingshot is part comedy, heaviness, and guitar licks.

With every minute of its underground production value apologetically intact, Slingshot sets up an all together more lively and aggressive pace for Fredrick "Joe" Evans IV (guitar, vocals) and Brenn Beck (percussion, vocals). And in doing so, the album proves what the band has said all along.

These boys really are inspired by Mississippi Hill country blues musicians. They sound like those kind of musicians on Slingshot too. It's the roughness of the album that gives it real charm — almost like finding an old painting by a master before they turned mainstream. Slingshot rocks.

With the filthy delta swagger still unbridled, Left Lane Cruiser opens with a cruising chug jam accented by howls about driving down the street and looking for something to eat. Don't Need Nothin' From Me is a dirty little ditty that takes in the reactions as someone slowly rolls by. And even if it isn't, it feels that way.

Rollin' is significantly more subdued in contrast. It captures the incessant buzz of deep South folk rock. It's slow, mournful, and lazy. The brooder touches on pains but never obsesses over them.

While Rollin' shares a bit of a foreshadow of where Left Lane Cruiser ended up, it is many of the other tracks that shed light on where they come from. The title track, Slingshot, does exactly that.

Left Lane Cruiser immediately follows it up with the more temperate Kentucky Fried Dickin' track. The arrangement is smooth and bluesy, with a whiff of wisdom tucked inside in its sparse storytelling. Its simplicity makes the switch up for the fuller Sleep Will Mend straight talk.

The vocals of Right By My Side get lost in the reverb at the halfway point. Shakedown is much sharper, a slow motion rocker that breaks into a swampy two-step. There is a bit of a story to tell, but Evans and Beck tell most of it with their instruments.

The album ends with the upbeat and playful Do You Know, the more provocative That Ass, and the near-barroom romper Huckleberry Twist. The latter can almost convince some listeners that the first half sounds more finished than the last, keeping in mind that the first half was as polished as a strip sanded bumper. The bottom half is all but rusted through.

Slingshot By Left Lane Cruisers Taps 5.2 On The Liquid Hip Richter Scale. 

This is one of those rare cases where the ruggedness is so perfectly remastered that the album becomes a back-of-the-closet novelty to be shared some night that everyone had stayed up late. As the party starts to draw to a close, Slingshot yanks at the last little bit of life in it before the close. It's absolutely too raw to ignore.

Slingshot by Left Lane Cruiser can be found on Amazon. The remastered recording can also be downloaded from iTunes. Some of the tracks also appear on Gettin' Down On It. The band is currently on tour in support of Rock Them Back To Hell.
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