Posts Tagged ‘Endless Boogie’

Endless Boogie – Vol. I & II

If you were privy to the nascent days of the Boogie, then you’re luckier than most. If you took away a pressing of the band’s first couple of releases, then you’re among a select few. Missed out? Read on… The band pressed Vols I & II up on small run, hand-stamped sleeves before they headed out to the Slint-curated All Tomorrow’s Parties in 2005. The recordings were culled from rehearsals, recorded with two mics straight to the cassette deck. Often dubbed simply “White” and “Black” the individual LPs were hard to come by, let alone a set of two. Featuring the original lineup, the record also boasts a contribution from Matt and Spencer Sweeney on “Style of Jamboree.” As for the contents inside the double-wide package – they are of the highest order of groove. Rough, sure, but ripped and torn as anything in the Boog’s bountiful catalog.

There’s the feeling that the songs are being snatched right from the rigors of time. There’s no overthinking, no polish. There’s only groove – endless, swampy, scorched, and sutured groove. Paul Major’s vocals don’t take on their imposing presence here. On later recordings his voice would hang like a graveled and grizzled seer over the top of the din, a booming bluesman whose greasy growl seemed omnipresent and absolute. Here, Major’s in the fray fighting for space alongside the grind of guitars and the packed pummel of drums. He’s still a presence to contend with, no doubt, but its nice to hear him fight for the mantle he earned over the years.

This is unfiltered Boogie and it’s a psych-punk delirium that’s more than deserving of this deluxe reissue. The listener is threaded through the tape spools and tumbled-dried for eternity, spun ‘round and twisted until the groove is all that remains. Over time Endless Boogie would become a juggernaut of sound, but this is a great document of their rise to the top, kicking and fighting for every ounce of air they convert into pure poisoned sound. If you’re among the unlucky who missed these originally (and I know you are) then now’s the chance to experience the spark.

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Hans Chew

Hans Chew has popped up here from time to time, first with fellow traveler D. Charles Speer and then his name kept surfacing on albums from artists I’d held in high esteem – Jack Rose, Steve Gunn, Endless Boogie. Then he tucked into heading up his own crew. He’s been picking out his own brand of Americana over ever since, one that seems rougher, realer and a bit more country than the indie players who break out the acoustic and try to twang up their songs for a diversion from the norm. With the rhythm section from Rhyton behind him and compatriot Dave Cavallo adding a good dose of clearcut psych guitar, the album is leathered and worn with the kind of creases that current “outlaw” country isn’t coming close to.

Chew’s country is more of a feeling than an approach though. The heart of the record lies in a rock ‘n roll shallow grave, bleeding out for all the sinners after a bar brawl gone wrong. He’s got all the trappings of the local last call bar band, but with the kind of ingrained talent that would make you leave a beer hanging in stunned silence while the band tears into ’70s deep cuts from Let It Bleed, Greetings From L.A., and Zuma. There’s a certain grace to Open Sea, worn in like faded denim, comfortable and comforting all at once. It’s a reminder that sometimes a solid footing, even in territory that’s worn to threads, can feel just right.

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RSTB Best of 2017

So this year is drawing to a close, or almost, we’re still a few weeks away from pushing the broken pieces of 2017 into the trash. There’s no real solace from a lot of the events that took place this year, but, independent of any current events, music has been kind to us all this year. These are the records that spent the most time on the turntable over here. Yeah, I know its kind of a lot, but there were far too many good ones that haven’t been getting the shouts they need elsewhere. Lets say this serves as both a best of and a most overlooked in one go. If you enjoy ’em, buy ’em if you can. Don’t do them the disservice of just bumping up the streaming numbers.

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Endless Boogie

Regardless of what else is going on in your life, your country, your brain or your heart it’s a good year when Endless Boogie descends from the fanged fog to bestow an album on the poor disenfranchised souls laid down at music’s hearth. From the first second that Vibe Killer sweats through your needle, the album owns you. Vocalist and beating heart of the Boogie, Top Dollar, is a beast that leers at the listener and oozes every bit of the twisted soul of 3AM predatory rock n’ roll.

And like the album’s mouthpiece, there’s a sickness to the grooves that inhabit the record, expunged every so often by the raised hackle burn of guitar scream. The outbursts are rare exorcisms, but when the band want’s to twist the knife, they know how hard and fast to turn. For the most part though Endless Boogie are the essence of unshaken cool, reflecting your own insufficiency back in their steady mirrored gaze. Hell, this is a band that’s taken a story about seeing Kiss at a kite festival in ’74 and made it seem like boogie chillun gospel, a tale as old as time riding the rope burned ruts of a molasses groove. That’s musical alchemy. That’s the cold hard delivery of no-nonsense masters at work.

If you’ve come this far in life and had Endless Boogie soundtracking a even a small piece of it, then the album should fit like a worn leather companion. They’re not gonna shake the foundations that built ’em at this point, but the damn sure know how to sell the formula. My advice is to buy the ticket, take the ride and let it seep into your own soul. Take the ninety degree burn of confidence that Vibe Killer employs and refract it back out to your own world. The world won’t see it coming.

Support the artist. Buy it HERE.