It’s a damn shame that Woozy Viper do not (supposedly) perform live. After their first album was released to absolute mystery last year, the Meseke Brothers had the ear of several bloggers, including myself. I mean, I found out about the album from a business card stacked up at the Standard, a convenience store in Brooklyn. Plain white with the Woozy Viper website on the back, and the horror-movie style blood-drip font logo on the front. So it makes me wonder how they’ve managed to get the attention of bloggers in, say, Istanbul, let alone California or anyone else in America, for that matter. That’s perhaps one half testament to the speed of information these days, and the other the reality being that these guys are just that fucking good.
And they are! They are!
So imagine my joy when I get an e-mail giving me a heads-up that there’s new Woozy Viper material out there, once again, for free and available for download.
After the jump, a full review of Woozy Viper’s latest, Rock and Roll.
After an album of straight forward rock and roll (on electro-acoustic guitars and one drum kit, I think — I don’t know, I don’t have that good of an ear for technical stuff, so if the guys are reading this, please let me know what it is you cats are using), self-titled and released with no kind of publicity beyond it’s own quality, their second album, titled Rock and Roll, opens with the same kind of good humor found in the first. “You Can’t Find Me” opens up with a riff that can be described as tough, lean, and sexy all at once, and lyrics that sneer with a tongue in cheek at the same time. “Dinner and a Movie” is even simpler than the first track, a rockabilly tune that sounds like Hasil Adkins a little calmer.
The album seems to go on in that kind of pattern, where all songs are straight forward rock and roll, but with a few more complicated tunes taking turns with the simpler ones. It’d be easy to write this off as just more of the same; however, the self-titled first tune is apparently more of a blues album, full of straight acoustics and more laid-back tempos. Rock and Roll is full of barn-burning lo-fi (seriously — it sounds like the television is on in the living room at the beginning of “Black is the New Black), which these guys have mastered when comparing to the first’s cleaner sound. There’s no indulgently long jams like “The Switchblade Song,” but tons of smirking, snarky rock to make it one of finer releases this year that you can listen to with friends, just as much as dance to it. A title like “Party Town U.S.A” could be a sarcastic retort to pop tunes, or it could be a legit party tune, or both. A unique and catchy vocal melody says “yes.” “I Want to Strangle You” has plenty of that dangerous lover grit, from the head-nod rhythm to the slick bass line, and the psych lead guitar, in addition to the lead singer’s delivery, which is more assured this time.
Grade: A. Stellar straight-forward album of great rock and roll, that is less tribute and more like the real thing. The Mesekes still keep it stripped of excesses, and still manage a dark, sexy sound. Even on poppier tunes like “She’s Mine” still have a certain dark psychedelic quality going for it. No, you may never find Woozy Viper out in public (and know it), but hopefully, they’ll keep churning out great underground albums like this. Please, please, please, go check them out, download their album, and donate to keep them afloat!
And you can do that here.
Here’s a sample, “You Can’t Find Me” off of Rock and Roll. And thank you to Woozy Viper for giving me the permission to put this up, as well as just making a damn good record. Thanks, guys.