Jon Langford & His Sadies

SXSW Records

Phases and Stages

Jon Langford & His Sadies

Mayor of the Moon (Bloodshot) One of the great strengths of Bloodshot's Canadian journeymen the Sadies has always been their versatility. They can knuckle down and bust out some squawky rock, go ramrod-straight and play like Johnny Cash and the Tennessee Two, or lay it down behind the beat and back up soulster Andre Williams. In this effort with Welsh leftist torchbearer/Waco Brother/Mekon Jon Langford, they cover all the bases and then some. There's the garagey bravado of "American Pageant" (with a spritz of Langford's lyrical vitriol), the spaghetti-Western groove of "Little Vampires," the alt-punk stomp of "Up to My Neck in This," the Memphis rockabilly of "Solitaire Song" (complete with pedal steel and a Bo Diddley middle break). Bloodshot stablemate and longtime Langford collaborator Sally Timms puts in a welcome appearance on "Shipwreck," all drifting spookiness and foggy recollection. Langford's strength has always been his gift for lyrics, taking his politics and sublimating them into poetry, then voicing it all with a Joe Strummer-ish holler. Suffice to say that he's in good form here. The promise of alt.country has collapsed in the last few years as more and more timid, mopey bands contemplate their navels and cower in fear of actually turning up their amps lest they "rock," god forbid. The Sadies and Langford provide a healthy, literate antidote to that on Mayor of the Moon. (Waco Brothers: Mother Egan's, Saturday, March 15, 1am)

***

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