Here To Save You All
Here to save us all from this sad state of affairs that is the popular music culture in 2003. How exactly to do that: free passes aboard the intergalactic fantasy flyer double timing down the deserted highway of indeterminacy and relive another 1978? Okay, I’ll take the ride, but I got news, 25 years ago wasn’t exactly a hot bed of heavy music. Sure you had faces and names, and what some might’ve called “style,” but the real excitement didn’t come till about five years later.
Backdraft, to anyone with some degree of musical pulse, sounds like anything but what they are – a bearded, bombed out, bare-chested, bell bottomed Blues/Rock and Boogie prototype that recalls the handful of history-making heavies of the time that’ve since bloodied the annals of rock’s greatest tragedy dancers doing the occasional summertime cash out. Finally realizing that after the fuzz FX lose their luster, it’s a return to that plug and play formula where plodding double fretted riff runs, Southern drawl and sun downed and funky free play restore the hopes that the Allman’s, Argent’s, Skynyrd’s and Grand Funk’s (or, who the hell else ever made a habit of burning incense, bones, and rubber in the day) meant fucking good at playing. Listen to “Wicked Man,” it’s classic rock regurgitated a hundred fold! But it grooves. Backdraft isn’t some sudden Stockholm-bore breakthrough leading us back down the path of Seventies’ super rock salvation. In fact, there are several lesser knowns that have already laid their claim — but then again, laying claim to a fistful of empty still amounts to as much. The key is, where are they now and can they pull off and capitalize on this sudden fondness for another Atlantic Rhythm Section roundabout? It ain’t so much about getting “stoned” as it is about what you can do with the tiredness of the three-chord jump and grind. I could get bored of this shit real easy after about four tunes in. Spiritual Beggars made a real go at recreating the denseness of the day with their last and gave it an extra pound of big balls and black light effects!
But alas, these boys come armed with their very own Hammond and suddenly, there’s a new worth of welcome churn and burn to a handful of faithfully inspired ballads like “See You Burn” and “Goddamn Man.” I’ll take Turbonegro over these guys in a second and truth be told, you can’t listen to this record and not also think about these late-’80s pretty boy by-products that decided to get tough a little too late. It’s simply the difference between radiance and dark matter. So since C.O.C. seems to be losing favor recently and the big footed, lead belly types never go out of style, Backdraft’s got a good shot with road weary renegade rednecks. But damn, “Hillbilly Blues” to end the record sounds awfully silly!