The Austin Chronicle

Phases & Stages

Reviewed by Kevin Curtin, November 23, 2012, Music


421 (MVD Audio)

Austin's favorite Southern-fried rock trio returns for a sixth helping of superfast groove-blues and rock on 421. Cut at now out-of-commission Pedernales Studios and mixed by Paul Leary, compatriot to Honky honcho J.D. Pinkus in the Butthole Surfers, 421's crafty mix complements the band's most musically exciting album. Credit guitar phenom Bobby Rock for the fireworks; he blows up every song with searing, Dimebag Darrell-like solos between rubbery slide guitar riffs and uniquely stuttering rhythms. His co-action with Pinkus' death-grip bass lines and departed member Justin Collins' drumming rages on the blazing instrumental title track early on and never lets up. From foodie seducer "Over Easy" to milelong power ballad "All for Nothin'," 421 has a vocally melodic streak that never bends or wavers, counteracted by the beat-up, pilled-out Delta blues of "Woke Up Dead," which details the aftermath of Honky's demolition derby lifestyles.


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