6 Day Bender’s new album kicks like a keg-standing mule
(NOTE: This is the original of the version of my piece for the Hook.)
Is this thing on? Cripsy Duck to Command Central… come in, Command Central.
What the hell am I doing? It’s been eight long, boring years since my semi-self-imposed sabbatical from print music journalism. Who am I kidding? Just because there’s been nary a sentence fragment of interesting music writing in this town since I was summarily fired from C-Ville all those years ago is no reason to think I can just jump back in and pick up where I left off. Or maybe…
6 Day Bender has a new record coming out, and it’s got some promise. (Yeah, I still call them “records” – sue me for going to college before the internet.) E-Ville Fuzz is a well-produced, beer-soaked, working man’s kind of affair with a lot of boot-stomping fury and a fairly catchy overall aesthetic that I can’t say I entirely dislike.
Let me be honest here (since no one else in this town seems capable of it), when I first heard 6 Day a couple years back, my internal dick-o-matic immediately pigeon-holed them as a poor man’s Avett Brothers, complete with a banjo-toting frontman, lots of sweaty hollering and drunk college chicks who flood their shows and talk the whole time. Big deal. But closer inspection revealed enough originality and drive to warrant further investigation. And hell, all the local rags seemed to think they were the next big doo doo.
I met the guys and I liked ‘em. (Most of ‘em, anyway.) Goofy, boob-grabbing college boys, mooching my weed at festivals. (Check, check, and check.) Things were looking up. They were doing the wise thing: not saturating the crappy local bar/club “scene,” but rather, seeking out wider audiences in other towns’ crappy bar/club scenes. They even got a sponsorship from Dickies work clothes. (How cool is that?) And then, all went quiet. Frontman Luke Nutting started another project, Red Rattles. (Ruh-roh!) And just when I thought it might be over, here comes E’Ville Fuzz.
E’Ville Fuzz is reminiscent at its best of the Faces with Rod Stewart circa “Stay With Me” or maybe Rolling Stones country during the Mick Taylor years, and at its worst, the Black Crowes. For a lot of listeners (and certainly for the band’s key demographic) that’s all pure platinum. If you like southern-fried shit-kicking party rock with a little extra edge, then this one’s for you.
Not to say the album lacks depth. Sure, the tunes are mostly about “baby, don’t you wanna &*#% me?”, but there’s a lot of acreage in that genre, and the gods of rock will never tire of pseudo-romantic pap. Musically, it’s upbeat – occasionally frantic even – but deliberate in a “we sure as shit know how to rock your ass” kind of way. These aren’t just three chord jams. There’s some good composition here. Gotta hand it to ‘em, there will always be a market for this kind of almost-straight-ahead, teetering-towards-alternative, Telecaster/harmonica sprawl.
I’ve listened to it a bunch and although country and/or countrified rock has never been my thing (good for xenophobes = bad for me), I can see cranking this one up every so often to get my PBR on. It’s a solid album with enough punkish attitude and hair-of-the-dog whimsy to keep a cocaine-addled beer-soaked gathering engaged. Far more interesting than any plastic-ass Black Crowes crap in my book. But I won’t be getting rid of my copy of Exile on Main Street any time soon, either.
6 Day Bender celebrates the release of E’Ville Fuzz at the Southern on Friday, October 29th at 8pm with opener These United States. Tickets are $8.