Rhythm & Views

The Love Drunks

Not since Kentucky's unheralded and underapplauded Nine Pound Hammer steamrolled the unsuspecting punk/garage terrain 15 years ago have a bunch of inebriated, Southern-fried nut jobs like the Love Drunks deserved as much ass-kissing. Merging the gutbucket, lo-fi blues stomp of the Black Keys, the iconic caveman snarl of trash-rock drug mules the Stooges, and the madman rockabilly balderdash of Hasil Adkins, Atlanta's Love Drunks have resurrected enough moonshine mojo to either scare off a one-legged bootlegger or induce him to watusi all night with the banjo-pluckin' inbred from Deliverance.

The band is led by the white-lightning-fueled thwack of upright bassist Chris "Koby" Downs and the aggressive, drunken tirades of lead howler Patrick A., his antihero lyrics often ironically referencing historical notables and incidents, like Emma Goldman and Sacco and Vanzetti ("Riot in Haymarket Square"), and the Lindbergh baby kidnapping ("Lindbergh Baby"), along with the expected redneck uproar of all-night drug orgies ("Blow") or the sexual escapades of the acid-dropping, psychopathic first cousins found on "Sketch" that most would expect from these cretin-hopping hillbillies. Patrick A. blatantly channels the demented, sleaze-a-billy spirit of Lux Interior on the lowlife tirades of "Women and Livin' (Dirty Bits)" and "Mortician Blues" without an ounce of originality, but his sunglasses-after-dark persona does nothing to dissuade us from enjoying the animalistic swagger established on this admirable debut.

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