Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA Billy Joe Winghead - Be Your Own Boss
|Billy Joe Winghead is one wingnut on the loose. This disc is brilliant, both creatively and disturbingly. There aren't many rules left unbroken, especially in the instrumentals. The theremin treatment of "Sleepwalk" leaves no room for a good night's sleep, and "Quiet Village" is only placid if you're from Mars. And Link's "Stalkin'," well, it's pure Wray. |
On the vocal side, "Komanawannaleia" is just too cool, both the excellent title and the throbbing intensity of this ode to the lovely Poly Nesia. Brilliant. "Cuban Rebel Girl" is a mighty dark fuzz garage rant. "Rest Stop Romeo" drives hard at the garage ethic of rock and roll. Thundering drive is found in "Hell On 18 Wheels," a nearly psychedelic nasty chant. "So We Die" sports a Phil Spector beat, and excellent harmonies, eventually yielding to a thick intense drive somewhere between Les Black Carnations and the Miracle Workers. "Ozarkula" bleeds Cramps suave. "Hope Drowns" throbs slowly with vibrato and sad lyrics. Then there's the brilliant packaging, a matchbook, strike pad, "close cover before striking" warning, and all. Even the CD-R label is matches. Too cool!
Picks: Stalkin', Quiet Village, Sleepwalk
Track by Track Review
Link Wray (Instrumental)
Link Wray's "Stalkin'" grumbles with divine throb and nasty edge. This is just about the best cover of this I've heard, mean and powerful, yet with a polite precision. Exquisite.
Estranged Exotica (Instrumental)
Well now, using a sample from the Martin Denny classic to provide the appropriate jungle exotica feel, Billy Joe Winghead and his buds drift right into a garage melange of warped sound and thick crunch. It's almost as if Arthur Lyman's exotica had found its way to an alien civilization near Andromeda, where the locals thought it was the sounds of the gods. Given the great distances, the signal had been warped disturbingly. This is just too priceless to pass up.
Nuthouse Rock (Instrumental)
Thick and totally nutso, theremin warped, and just waiting for the boys in blue to arrive, this is nearly without equal. The lead is carried by the theremin, which occasionally hits the note square on, while the crunchy backtrack grooves. Amazing.