DREKHUND - MEN OF SALEM
Released December, 2022
Reviewed 28th January 2023
Buy the album here: https://badbillyrecords.bigcartel.com/.../drekhund-men-of...
Matt - 'One Man Band'
Seb - Double Bass
Oh yes I like this, very nicely done!
The description made me think of all things swampy and deliverance but with the addition of some nasty rock guitar. It's like I've signed up for whole season of shrimping at the boondocks, with one difference: these boondocks mark the entrance to Hell!
This is a debut album of 11 original tracks (and one White Stripes cover) stuffed full of banjo, slide guitar, harp, slap bass and drums. The music pounds and the distorted vocals scrub their way into your brain. 'Power blues' they say and yes, it sure is.
There are many roots and blues influences here but also other bands and musicians such as JD Wilkes and / or The Legendary Shack Shakers, very early Rolling Stones and George Thorogood but they also remind me of a favourite of mine from a few years back called Stoner Train. They were another duo who settled in Berlin from Russia and Italy, if memory serves me.
The main band members are vocalist and multi instrumentalist Matt and Slap Bassman Seb. Both experienced and blooded musicians they give a great performance on this debut.
Review Track by track:
Tiptoe through the tulips with me - mainly because I’m a total psychopath...
So ,whilst I am being swept off to a deep cabin deep in the forest for some torture and near death experiences, this track hits me with some great harp and slide guitar powered on by slap bass and drums
I’m Sliding Baby
Loving the George Thorogood riffs and interchange with the harp on this track and it's a great intro to something rather good.
I will survive
NO, don’t say Gloria Gaynor as this is no disco feminist super hit of the last century. This is a tougher old style RnB track so blues it should be pornographic, and so dirty you will need to wash your face with bleach to get clean after listening to it.
What I'm liking about this album is the rawness but also the appeal to anyone that likes blues or rock n roll heavily influenced by Psychobilly.
The track opens with some great atmospheric samples and blasts into some chunky RnB rock then drives on through the grind into to some 'in ya face' psycho slap. The vocals sound a little like Kurt Cobain and at the end the power of christ definitely compels you!
Follow the Devil
An eerie start with ghostly woman singing and lonesome banjo begin a track that tells a tale of possession and torment. A story direct from the depths of Edgar Alan Poe reverberates around the brain as the simple arrangement moves the song on to the bitter twisted end.
Love in Hell
In hell love is...? This track reminds of many early stoner rock but with added slap bass. The chorus reflects on something we have all felt … I am in Love and I am Hell.
Rockab Is War
Good shuffling boogie woogie with echoes of early Sonny Boy Williamson and ZZ Top tracks like La Grange. The harp and slap bass move the track up and down as you are left on a highway to nowhere in town with no cheer that is as hot as hell and has nobody home for many a year.
Men of Salem
I love this track! It's so …. Witchfinder General! I hail from the land of the witch trials and the original witch finder generals of the English Civil war. This banjo folksy song makes me want to dig up my ancestors and track down some local witches. And, just so you don’t think that this is in any way a prejudiced view, back in the day men were also tried as witches. So, lets have some communal witch burning Drekhund style!
Put My Guns Away
A slow 70s rock influenced track full of angst and an angry man with guns. It’s a song of forsaken love and betrayal that makes for a stoner track from hell.
When I first got this album to listen to it all downloaded alphabetically which meant this was my first first Drekhund experience. It tweaked my interest and got my foot tapping and head nodding and made me check my greying beard for motorbike oil and beer and possible the lost city of Atlantis.(There is a lot in that there beard!). Black Math switches effortlessly from rock to rockabilly and challenges the listener to suck up the power and rhyme. I'm there, guys, and hungry for more.
Run in the Darkness
By contrast, this track is a lighter jog through and makes me think of those times you had just kissed ya best girl goodnight only to find betrayal and lies and the feeling that you are now running away from a certain ill fated romance. That’s what I like about the use of the banjo in many tracks; it’s a fabulous way to counter one emotion against another. Squeal piggy sqeeeeeeaaaaal!
Pure stoner slapping rock and like Black Math I’m highway bound on a bike made from the bones of my ancestors. Great slide riffs and thumping bass make this track destined for some good radio play (if there is any justice!)
Take my Hand
The album finishes with some great hillbilly / rockabilly . If people don’t get up and jig to this, they may well be politicians. This song gives you a sense of the everlasting youth that music brings. Love the banjo lick on the sections just past the chorus. It’s short but its a winner.
After listening to this album several times I like it great deal and really want to hear what this duo get up to next. It has loads of really good things about it and for me the many influences that make this stand out and stand up in a world of repro retro. Drekhund have a rawer and more authentic sound than most.
It is strong in places and is not shy at sticking the finger up to some of the more narrow minded audiences that they may face.
Yes to all who like the raw blues influenced music described and referenced in this here article. If you listen and starting to doubt me play it again but louder! Suck it up humans Drekhund is a potion worth consuming in them ears.
PS The dog looks great on the cover , not sure about the dodgy looking humans though!
Review by Ed Razer