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CD Review: Handmade Heavy Blues

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Geezer, Handmade Heavy Blues, 2013, Blues Blvd. Records.
  • Geezer, Handmade Heavy Blues, 2013, Blues Blvd. Records.

Blues rock too often gets short shrift on my turntable/mp3 player/CD carousel. Unfortunately, it's a genre that at times lends itself to cliché and a mild mannered by-the-numbers approach that could be shorthand for the last 40 years of Eric Clapton's career. Thankfully, the debut full-length offering from Kingston's Geezer dispenses with any such niceties and produces some welcome, evil-sounding, stoner-blues boogie that's perched somewhere alongside ZZ Top, Sleep, and Free. Much like those in the trio's fellow Hudson Valley act the Jonny Monster Band, Geezer's members attack their instruments with devil-may-care abandon.

Pat Harrington (guitar/vocals) uses his slide to great effect as the songs lurch menacingly back and forth like some feral critter along the highway. Chris Turco (drums) and Freddy Villano (bass) provide a booming bottom end, imbuing the set with a bracing, stripped-down intensity. The album offers eight originals, along with well-chosen covers of the Beatles' "Why Don't We Do It in the Road" and Muddy Waters's "Still a Fool." Harrington's snarling vocals are the perfect sonic guide to the sludgy, turbid depths of Geezer's sound. The opening track, "Planes, Trains, and Automobiles," storms out the gate with harmonica fanfare courtesy of Mercury Rev's Grasshopper, before Harrington bellows "Gonna buy a big old truck just to run you over / Gonna tie you to the tracks of a rollercoaster." To be forewarned is to be forearmed. Geezertown.bandcamp.com.

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