The much-anticipated debut CD of Grand Rapids psychobilly outfit DangerVille is hot off the presses, with 12 blistering tracks that run the gamut of roots-rock influence from tangy twang to punk-fucking-rock reverberation. The songs depict the quintessential heartache of country, deftly melding it with searing hollow-bodied electric guitar riffs and the intoxicating thunka-chunka-thunk slap of an upright bass.
The album gets off to a scorching start, leaving burning rubber in your ears with “Lament of a Serial Killer,” which traces one man’s journey down the path to mass slaughter. Front man Danger’s bourbon-tinged voice brilliantly masters both lewd growls and floating vibrato, as he howls in delight over his own guitar’s fiery wail.
The band deftly covers all elements of the rock/punk/psycho/whatever-a-billy genre. First, it nods to Johnny Cash and Hank Williams with the twangy slide of a pedal steel in “Can’t Wait” and then it fluidly transitions to a hint of Social Distortion with the burning, yearning devil’s soul of “Something Wicked.”
The members of DangerVille prove they’re just as steamy when deliciously slowed down, with the sultry ballad “Sinner’s Parade.” Bassist Delilah DeWylde’s torrid Eartha Kitt vocals waft over muted, mournful guitars that will burn a hole in your speakers and in your chest.
Picking up the pace to breakneck speed on “Whiskey Zipper,” DangerVille does what it does best — knock your damn bobby socks off. Drummer Lee Harvey Biltwell whips up a frenzied beat, while guitarist Johnny Ominous slaps you in the face with fearsome guitar licks that will definitely leave a mark the next morning.
In the opening track, Danger bellows his lament of being “stuck in DangerVille” — but the album attests that this musical metropolis is indeed a damn good place to be.
Order the CD online at www.dangerville.net.
Sarah Klein is Metro Times culture editor. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.