Rhythm & Views 

Heavy Trash

Perennial bad-boy Jon Spencer pairs up with Matt Verta-Ray from Speedball Baby and Madder Rose for a rockabilly fist-fight as Heavy Trash. This ain't your momma's rockabilly, of course: They bring the snotty attitude and sexy strut of Spencer's Blues Explosion and put it right in your face. A throw-back to the crude, moonshine-fueled rockabilly of original wildmen like Hasil Adkins and Ray Campi, and the primal perfection of Johnny Burnette's Rock 'N' Roll Trio, Heavy Trash ooze buckets of sweat and sex on their debut.

Heavy Trash throw in a few arty touches, but they're "arty" like Lydia Lunch is arty, not the way wine-sipping gallery-goers are arty. And there are plenty of variations on the theme here. "Under the Waves" is a spooky ballad with mysterio electric piano; "This Day is Mine" is a backwoods update on the Bo Diddley beat. "The Hump" is a chugging party-starter; "Mr. K.I.A." is a bluesy smack down. And "Gatorade" is a rude, reverb-drenched rocka-ditty, while "Justine Alright" sounds like what Johnny Rivers might have produced if he had gone to Beale Street instead of Sunset Strip in the early 1960s.

Verta-Ray and Spencer play a little of everything on the record, with Spencer handling most of the vocals in his best hound dog howl. Close to 20 guest musicians contributed, but you'd never know: It sounds like Spencer and Verta-Ray all the way to the blood bank.

More by Carl Hanni


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