The Moaners

Dark Snack (Yep Roc)

SXSW Records

The Moaners

Dark Snack (Yep Roc)

Guitar playing has its conventions: certain ways to hold the neck. Certain ways to bend the strings. Certain places to put your fingers. Melissa Swingle puts her fingers wherever the hell she wants, bending the neck to breakin'; strings beg to become unstrung after what she doles out. The Mississippi moaner's name will ring true to fans of Southern trash rock. Her previous combo, Trailer Bride, offered Flannery O'Connor-tinged blue plate specials – but that was acoustic. This time, Swingle plugs in and straddles the punk rock muscle of pummeler Laura King (Grand National), to serve up a heaping helping of south-o-the-Mason-Dixon slop, so slippery, like a cold glass of Jon Spencer with a Crisco/whiskey chaser. On their debut, these hot skillet mamas bare more than the portended one leg/one thigh combo; they shoot for the whole bucket. Opener "Heart Attack" is all Mark E. Smith and Gun Club 'til the snake-charming Dean Martinez guitar run takes over; "Flannery Said" manages to conjure the dark Southern dame as well as a lady named P.J. and later VU (and not just because the song title ends in "Said" …); "Paradise Club" is a back alley stripper's lament set to the "House of the Rising Sun," putting the original back in a woman's fingers. Hot damn. Hot, humid, sweaty, clammy damn. Sort of the way hands smell after hours spent running well-earned calluses up and down steel strings and fretboards: Finger-lickin' gooooood. (Thursday, March 17, 10pm @ Continental Club)

****

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