South Filthy, Hard Feelings, The Marked Men, and Bad Apples
7 & 7 Is
Reviewed by Raoul Hernandez, Fri., Sept. 12, 2003
Hog-holler blues have long been the stomping ground for Austin's feral harp hound Walter Daniels, and his South Filthy swine are no cleaner on their "Soul of a Man" vinyl 45. If "the harmonica is a breath away from the soul of a man," as former local scribe and current Memphis blues biographer Robert Gordon asserts on this Memphis-pressed Wrecked 'Em Wreckord(s), then SF's sludgy Blind Willie Johnson A-side and scuffling B-side ("Speed Traps, Weigh Stations, & Detour Signs") may have already taken their last breath... Testifying with a helluva lot more hellfire is the Hard Feelings' Soul Party!, another Billy Bishop picture-sleeve prize. While Aussie imprint Dropkick Records hopes to follow up the local blues spew trio's nitroglycerin You Won't Like It ... 'Cuz It's Rock & Roll with the oil fires of Rebels Against the Future ("We got no plans, we're just tearing shit up," choruses the title track), this two-song stopgap pays tribute to soul men Nathaniel Meyer and Solomon Burke. Purple-heart punk punctuated by Bishop's purple star spangles for Gearhead Records on Waterloo Records' singles wall... A full-throttle throttling is what you get from Denton's Marked Men, whose four-song assault on ATX's Mortville Records is out of breath, spittle, and the garage. "Settle Down," who said this nervy trio ratchets "Nothing Worth While"? Imagine the Hives being swarmed by wasps... Matching ol' B.B. in eye-candy graphics is Netherland's Rabbit F.T.D. Records, which has a la moded the ladies in Austin's Bad Apples with the pink, bunny-skull goodness of their The Revenge of the Bad Apples three-song pie throw. That the trio of tunes plus four more are found on the quartet's locally released EP, Never Tasted So Good (She Sells Records), doesn't diminish its grrrlish good looks. As it turns out, "I Want You to Know," "Rockstar," and "Phone Sex" are alternate takes, the first one being twice as fierce as the heavier, stiffer version on CD. Too bad the sad-eyed-'n'-spunky romanticism of "All Over You" from the disc isn't on the 7-inch. Nevertheless, the worm has turned.
Wreck 'Em Records: PO Box 240701, Memphis, TN 38124; Gearhead Records: PO Box 421219, S.F., CA 94142; Mortville Records: PO Box 4263, Austin, TX 78765, www.mortvillerecords.com; Rabbit F.T.D. Records c/o Kalium/thee Seetz, Postbus 1559, 9701 BV Groningen, the Netherlands; She Sells Records: firstname.lastname@example.org & www.thebadapples.com