13 Crack Tracks: Austin Bands Perform Songs From the Crackpipes Songbook

Texas Platters

Phases & Stages

13 Crack Tracks: Austin Bands Perform Songs From the Crackpipes Songbook

(Chicken Ranch)

It took a lymphoma diagnosis of Crack Pipes guitarist Billy Steve Korpi to pay tribute to Austin's sanctified punk R&B originals, but 13 Crack Tracks proves one silver lining. The crooked songbook of the garage-soul brothers remains vast and ripe for the picking, as the dozen acts that played a September 2007 hoot/benefit at Beerland can attest. Here, in studio form, these 13 cuts aren't covers as much as reinterpretations, wisely pairing bands that are sonically similar to the Pipes with more outré fare. Victims of Leisure's opening "Hot Dang," Big Foot Chester's "Snakes in My Veins," and the spot-on bra-strap snap of Faceless Werewolves' "Make Out Party" channel the blues rock pedigree, while Golden Arm Trio's rendition of "Making Trax" and Tia Carrera's "Q&A" fill in the instrumental gaps, evolving the songs off the barroom floor. Horse + Donkey molds "United Snakes" into a reverbed gem of its own – as does now-defunct quartet the Hunnies, lending slapdash charm and horns to "I Was So Worried About You" – and Attack Formation rightly owns "Rewind My Mind." The Crack Pipes songbook is simple and raw enough to lend itself to imitation, but this is the sincerest form of flattery. (CD release: Saturday, Jan. 31, Beerland.)


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