Providing a villainous canvas for the most essential of mischievous sounds Life Is Hard…Death Is Neat the latest album from Dead Bundy and the Neat Neat Neats has everything you could desire in a psychobilly riot. A collection of songs which are as compelling as they are the instigators of varied rock n roll flames, the album just grabs the heart and thrusts it into a bruising rampage of insatiable riffs, hungry rhythms, and heart borne passion. This is a record from a band which lives and breathes their sound and uses their open influences to corrupt and ignite the wickedest shadows within its willing victims.
The Minneapolis quartet is another band which lets the music do the talking with info about the band as scarce as the desire to behave within the album itself. The band does consist of Matthew Sprinkles, Chris Wilson, Cody Hillyard, and Matt Kalsnes, and employs influences from the likes of Batmobile, The Quakes, Reverend Horton Heat, Mad Sin, and Screaming Jay Hawkins amongst many, as well as a band which springs to mind often across the release, the Frantic Flintstones, to their own mastery. Life Is Hard…Death Is Neat is the follow up to 2011 album Bad Moon Death Trip, and was released last year making us late to its glory but better late than never right? They tag their sound as brundlebilly but whatever they want to call it their roguish conjurations are just essential treasures for all fans of rock n roll.
The eager and thrilling breath of Hexes And Hymns opens up the album, the track a brief instrumental charge which begins with gentle caresses before turning on the for pulsating guitar strokes, thumping rhythms, and a delicious whisper of discord throughout its twisted twang. It is a fiery start soon equalled and surpassed by the shadows gifted Evil Deeds And Demon Seeds. With a groaning hungry bass slapping resonance and an irresistible groove the song stomps through the ear with only thoughts of dragging the feet and passions of the listener into action, not that they need much persuasion when confronted by infection carrying sounds like this.
From there the album sets free one of its biggest pinnacles in a continual parade of highlights. Junglebella swings astride the senses with an insatiable energy and compulsive swagger, the vocals and guitar luring irresistible whilst the contagious chorus demands receives compliance from the throat of the listener with immediate effect. It is a sensational song which brings elements of The Meteors, Link Wray, and The Legendary Shack Shakers into play. The musicianship is as impressive as the viral persuasion at work throughout song and album and already only three songs into the release one feels the band is destined for the strongest recognition in their chosen genre if not further afield.
The sinew stretching Bruja with its crushing rhythms and flames of scorching guitar continues the now beyond simmering rapture, the track a muscular bruising with more addiction than primitive sexual urges…oh that is just us then…whilst the likes of the raw rockabilly furnace of Movie Monster and the country lilted evil of Bad Woman with its Dave Edmunds/Polecats like gait brings diverse enterprise and tingles to the release. The last of this trio starts as an old school toned treat which again leads one by the ear to embarrassing rhythmic expulsions on the dancefloor but midway intrigues and excites by twisting into a punkabilly storm which is a mix of Demented Are Go and The Living End.
As the album continues the songs Supernatural Man, She’s A Hellcat, and Road To Ruin only lead to further squeals of joy before another major triumph arrives in the graveyard romance of Bone Daddy. It is a glorious track which romps with sinister intent and deathly mischief. The irreverent vocal squalls and ever potent emotion playing bass prowl fires up the deepest passions whilst the heated hooks of the guitar conjurations pulls the heart into action like a satanic musical magnet.
Closing with the fine acoustic ballad Devils In The Dark, the album is an enthrallment with the highest rewards of pleasure attached to every note and rhythm. Only enthused acclaim can be laid upon Life Is Hard…Death Is Neat and a band in Dead Bundy and the Neat Neat Neats which makes the company of their nefarious creativity as essential as breathing.
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