Sonic Reducer: Merican Slang, The Lymbs And Veruca Salt

Geoffrey Plant
3 min read
Livin’ in Merica
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Merican Slang sent Alibi one of their limited edition, miniature cassette shaped mp3 players with a copy of their new album Livin’ in Merica (maybe they should have called it “James Brown’s estate must ask that you cease and desist”) and a video on it: super nifty! Merican Slang’s funk takes cues from the obvious sources: George Clinton, Take a Look at Those Cakes-era James Brown, as well as the more obscure influence (heard on “Mama”) of Washington DC’s go-go music. Thin production doesn’t help the band’s already sparse sound, and the generic, second-tier funk puns like “Funky Friday” and “Tap That Bass” are annoying, but Merican Slang is dedicated and sincere. They’re a booty-poppin’ party band; of course its a bit silly.

The Lymbs Moon (self-released)

Funny thing. The first time I checked out The Lymbs’ Moon coincided within minutes of ingesting something very powerful. Something so powerful I can’t tell you what it was. My first thought was, “these guys sound like the ‘High Desert Rock’ of Brant Bjork.” Great combination. That sound is an asset to Albuquerque’s music scene for sure; however, there’s more to The Lymbs than heavy riffs. There’s something “real” about their heavy, garage drum and guitar combo that most bands don’t have. They’ve got talent, and the Lymbs have found a niche that isn’t just “blues rock” or “garage.” Drummer Jeff Bell and git/vox man Gage Bickerstaff fit together musically to an extant that The Lymbs have staying power. I bet these guys will be around for a while, and I predict Moon will hold up as well as the great music they’ll be making in the future. Recommended.

Veruca Salt Ghost Notes (El Camino)

Ghost Notes
I don’t know. Veruca Salt’s first record in 10 years and the first release in 18 years by the original lineup sounds like a great Veruca Salt album. I just don’t know if I care. Ghost Notes may sound too much like Veruca Salt; I think the ’90s sound is creeping me out. Furthermore, it sounds a lot like “Seether.” Girly vocals and brash, tough and sexy lyrics on top of first-rate pop-rock beats and guitar chords—what’s my problem? It’s a good record. Hey, it sure puts Avril Lavigne in her place. Best thing about this album may be the attending summer tour. What a great opportunity to see the ’90s incarnation of Veruca Salt—but not if you live in Albuquerque.

Ghost Notes

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