Monday, October 24, 2011

The Red 100s' "Live Off the Floor"

These three wiseacres, whom I mistook for teenagers when the li'l Stoogeband recently shared a bill with 'em but are actually in their mid-20s, recently won the Dallas Observer Music Awards "Best Blues Act" category in spite of the fact that they come across more like psychedelic punxxx than bluesmen. That said, they display an awareness of I-IV-V progressions that's a generational anomaly, and even closed their set at Lola's with, um, "Johnny B. Goode," which I grew tired of playing in shitty bar bands but sounded positively refreshing coming from such youthful, energetic mofos.

Their six-song EP Live Off the Floor is downloadable from Bandcamp for whatever you think it's worth, or available in corporeal form for a five spot -- and worth every penny. For a superannuated devotee of the hard stuff like your humble chronicler o' events, it's the best kind of wish fulfillment. These guys sound like they swallowed the history of Rawk entahr, from '60s garage punk to '70s hard rock to '80s hardcore, and spat out something that's as wholly their own as it's evocative of past manic thrills.

Raul Mercado, who provides the majority of the guitar damage, and Robbie D. Love, who divides his time between guitar and bass duties, are saturated enough with the litterchur of their axes to evoke both surf music and Funkadelic within a single song, and are into distortion and feedback as a way of life. These young cats are out to lunch: Same place I eat at. When Raul starts rapid-fire thrashing away at the double-stopped lines, it's as though the spirits of Brother Wayne Kramer and Sonny Sharrock were inhabiting the body of a skinny-jeans-wearing Messkin kid from Big D, an awesome sound. And "Coffee at Midnight" is the best early Fleetwood Mac hit that Peter Green never wrote.

Kyle Scheumach kicks the traps aggressively while singing like, well, the guy from Blink-182, which is actually a lot more honest than if he tried to sound like John Lee Hooker with a mouthful of marbles. Plus their brown-black-'n'-white Mod Squad mixture appeals to the Utopian in me. These boys are bold as brass and ready for the sheds. See 'em now so you can tell your grandkids you saw 'em back when. They'll be at the Wherehouse this Friday, 10.28, with the Hanna Barbarians and Whiskey Folk Ramblers. Admission is $10 with a costume, $15 without.


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