by Fred Mills
With North Carolina swamp-country combo Trailer Bride up on blocks, guitarist Melissa Swingle hooked up with former Grand National drummer Laura King, signed on with producer Rick (Southern Culture on the Skids) Miller and went about revising her distinctive twang-noir vision for the duo format. Now, before you start muttering “White Stripes … Black Keys … Mr. Airplane Man …” under your breath, rest assured that these gals are no duffers when it comes to the guitar and drums blooze thang. Swingle yips ’n’ yowls as if newly liberated, issuing sleek peals of slide guitar then chasing ’em with some of the dirtiest, overdriven punk chordage this side of the Reigning Sound. King keeps things simple, not Mo Tucker simple, but agile and solid — Charlie Watts with an estrogen injection. From visceral garage thumper “Flannery Said” and feedback-draped choogle-rocker “Heart Attack” (in which Swingle, in her trademark just-woke-up drawl, can’t decide whether to laugh, cry or have a coronary over a new paramour’s antics) to a dissonant and detuned rewrite of “House of the Rising Sun” titled “Paradise Club” and a sturdy cover of Elizabeth Cotten’s “Going Down the Road Feeling Bad” (Swingle hitting a brief falsetto passage in tribute to the folk-blues legend), this album’s one platterful of hi-cholesterol snackin’.
Performs Wednesday, Feb. 9, at the Belmont (10215 Joseph Campau, Hamtramck; 313-871-1966) with KK Dirty Money and Las Drogas.
Fred Mills writes about music for Metro Times. Send comments to email@example.com.