The Husbands

The Husbands

The Husbands

There’s Nothing I’d Like More Than To See You Dead

Swami Records

There’s Nothing I’d Like More Than To See You Dead is rampaging garage cave-stomp that’s way more versatile than you’d think, daddy. Sure, there’re plenty of the standard switchblade knives and switchblade combs brandished with flair from the pockets of leather jackets, torn fishnets and distortion pedals festooned with human skills, but The Husbands have a broader musical palette than many of their fellow garage-dwelling brothers and sisters. Their sound is often reminiscent of the shoulda-been-huge cult act Red Aunts, Thee Headcoatees and The Cramps, only with the bleeding teenage heart of the Ronettes and the Shirelles underneath the hood.

Songs like “Never Again” and “Just Ain’t Right For Me” dive headfirst into the beehived teenage-psychodramas of the Spector sound and the cha-cha heel-wearing bad girls a young John Waters worshipped, just rendered more raw and primitive. Whoever said breakups sounded slick anyway? Liquid eyeliner and mascara running down the cheeks, angel-sweet backing harmony vocals, that huge drum sound and cadence from “Be My Baby” to the Velvet Underground. Or how about the gothic, funeral-parlor blues of “Much Too Late?” Reminds me very much of another recent favorite coffinside love song “Funeral Parlor Blues” by David Allan Coe. And I give them all the credit in the world for covering Roy Orbison’s “Running Scared,” a chestnut of doomed love and treachery (isn’t it the only kind you can really count on anymore?), and if it isn’t quite up the the standards set by Nick Cave, well … hell, at least they’re putting it out into the collective sonic consciousness again.

Funky blues chops surface in the sweet party rave-up of “Bar-B-Q” –with an unbelievably genius/simple chorus. Who doesn’t love barbecue? It almost makes me not hate summer as much. And there are thrashers and romps and punk anthems to spare, trust me. Like the one-minute riff-o-rama “Pretty Lil’ Baby,” which either the Misfits or Johnny Thunders would have killed for. “Nervous” has that tense, mod-stutter-step jerk and lurch, all booming drums and heavily leashed guitar — prime “Ready, Steady, Go!” fodder. “Monster Party” is an absolutely godhead homage to that central theme of so much good, early garage/surf rock: namely, the monster shindig. And oh fucking baby, it delivers the goods in spades, complete with horrified screams, lyrics that outline the crashing of an honest-to-god monster party, a frugtastic dance breakdown for all the ghouls to do the twist and gritty, tombstone-shakin’ geetars. The playground taunts that kick off the one-minute blur “You Know What Sadie,” hint at the great truth, why not marry rock and roll?

The Husbands are the motorcycle-riding, leather-wearing younger sisters of the Jesus and Mary Chain —they’ve picked up all of their older brothers’ best bad-boy tricks, but fleshed them out even more with contemptuous glances from under 10 tons of liquid eyeliner, hairspray and a bruised heart pinned securely to a torn sleeve.

Swami Records: www.swamirecords.com

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