Monday, July 23, 2012


I didn't know that the American South was still producing bizarre roots-rock spazz-attacks like the Nashville combo The Chewers. By the 80's, the South seemed to be all REM and their followers, and the days of Southern-fried wack-jobs like the Legendary Stardust Cowboy, Hasil Adkins, or even Southern Culture on the Skids seemed to be gone forever.

The Chewers share The Cramps instrumental line-up - twang guitar, fuzz guitar, primitive drums, no bass - but seem to be coming more from Beefheart than rockabilly, e.g.: check the positively Vliet-y vocals on "Human Scum." In fact, you should just check out "Human Scum" anyway cuz it totally rules.

Elsewhere, they sing an acapella/finger-snapping ode to eating too many pancacks, "Who Ra" sounds like a werewolf is contributing lead vocals, and "Swamp Drag 2" answers the musical question 'What would the Residents have sounded like if they had never left Louisiana?'

It's not a perfect album: track 4 was when it finally started to get good for me, and the vocals sometimes lack spark.  But for the most part it's fascinating, unpredictable, and doesn't sound much like anything else I've heard lately.  Y'all come back now, ya hear?

Free download of the 18 track album here:

The Chewers "Every Drop Disorganized"

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