Ryan Sollee and his voice and guitar are spearheading this deadly enterprise and Brandon Hafer (drums, vocals, melodica), Willy Kunkel (bass, vocals), Ray Rude (organ, drums, vocals) and Harvey Tumbleson (banjo, mandolin) are rounding up the posse. A posse that’s known not to give a rat’s ass whether they’re playing in front of 30 or 3000 souls – as long as they’re playing.
And play they do. Unorthodox and raw is putting it mildly, but you might be able to decipher folk, rock, blues, soul, bluegrass together with total toxic exuberance. It’s their kind of music. And it’s all hammered together and aiming to rattle you with that characteristic and tirelessly rolling on and on and on of their hypnotic instrumentals which are manifesting themselves in crazy sound collages. It’s like the dead of the Grateful Dead are reaching down and touched them.
And so what’s with that scull on the cover of their 2007 «The Builders and the Butchers» album anyway? Heaven knows, or maybe hell is the place to go ask. The dark lyrics of Ryan Sollee might offer more than a hint of where things are burning in that regard. It’s like dark Mr. Cormack McCarthy is throwing his crepuscular wet shadow onto their lyrics. Through one of his tender brute end-of-the-world characters still hanging in, baiting his fish hook with foul smelling chicken meat to get one of those toxic channel cats out of the muddy Mississippi River. Or worse.
Follow your own death wish and check out this band. You won’t be alone, the skeleton under our roof is already drooling in the teeth.
«… raw and unschooled with Sollee in particular throwing off a maniacally ecclesiastical sort of energy… dark, sparkling Leadbelly terrain covered by deathfixated epics.» – Paste Magazin