Ter­rell’s Tune Up Steve Ter­rell re­views his new fa­vorite garage, punk, and crazy rock al­bums

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Here are a bunch of al­bums in the garage, punk, crazy rock vein that I’ve been en­joy­ing lately. What? You’ve never heard of any of these bands? That’s why I in­cluded links. Ed­u­cate your­selves. Broaden your hori­zons. Dare to ex­plore ... ▼ My De­gen­er­a­tion by He Who Can­not Be Named. If Los Strait­jack­ets are the golden, heroic, baby-faced

luchadores of rock ’n’ roll, then He Who Can­not Be Named is the vil­lain­ous, rule-break­ing hair-pulling, eye-goug­ing heel. Af­ter all, he’s a found­ing mem­ber of the Dwarves, vet­eran spunk-rock­ers best known for al­bum cov­ers fea­tur­ing images with naked women cru­ci­fy­ing a midget, and for get­ting kicked off Sub Pop Records at the peak of the great grunge scare for cre­at­ing a hoax in which they claimed He Who had been killed in a knife fight. You know, my kind of band.

So on He Who’s lat­est solo record, the vet­eran guitarist (who never has re­vealed his real name) sings sweet praises to a blow-up rub­ber sex part­ner (“Lovedoll”) and a touch­ing 1950s-edged ode to necrophilia (“One More Time”). Santa Fe’s own Gregg Turner has also ex­plored this theme.

One of my fa­vorites is a song that doesn’t con­tain any overt per­ver­sity. It’s the al­bum opener, a rous­ing tune in which the singer de­clares he’s bet­ter than you, smarter than you, richer than you. It’s al­most cer­tainly a jab at snobs. But it’s more fun if you as­sume He Who Can­not Be Named re­ally means it and ex­pects you to bow to his su­pe­ri­or­ity.

Like his moth­er­ship band, He Who has plenty of good old-fash­ioned rowdy punk songs, sev­eral of which are ad­dic­tively melodic. But he also branches out mu­si­cally. “Trans­fu­sion” and “Beau­ti­ful Dis­ease” fea­ture a banjo, re­mind­ing me a lit­tle of the late Tommy Ra­mone’s “blue­grass” band, Un­cle Monk. And on “Our Sacred Hate,” there is a screechy fid­dle that sug­gests Celt-punk. Drop­kick Mur­phys or The Tossers would do good ver­sions of this.

En­ter the warm and lov­ing world of He Who Can­not Be Named atwww. mu­sic can not be named. com. Also, I did a blog post a cou­ple of April Fools’ Days ago on the He Who death hoax. Read that here: www.stevet­er­rell­mu­sic.com/2015/04/ wacky-wed­nes­day-twisted-rock-n-roll.html. ▼ Part I by Sex Hogs II. Just a few years ago there was a bitchen lit­tle garage band in Al­bu­querque called The Scrams. I never got to see them live — and in fact, I hadn’t even heard of them un­til sev­eral years ago when I was lis­ten­ing to a pod­cast by a crony, in which he played a Scrams song, called me out by name, and ba­si­cally or­dered me to love them. That wasn’t hard. They were great.

Un­for­tu­nately The Scrams are no more. But just a few weeks ago, for­mer Scram­ster Nate Daly, who con­tacted me to tell me about his new band Sex Hogs II. (I’m not sure what hap­pened to Sex Hogs I.) These feral Hogs sound a lot like the long-lost Scrams. It’s raw straight­for­ward garage-rock fun — “Blood in the Dirt,” “Want Some,” and “I Ob­ject” be­ing fine high-oc­tane bop­pers. But these guys are ca­pa­ble of pulling off slower tunes as well, such as “Sac­ri­fice.”

I ac­tu­ally was sur­prised to learn that Sex Hogs II is a duo. They pro­duce a pretty full sound for just two guys. The mem­bers are iden­ti­fied only as “Guitar Hog” and “Drum Hog” (Daly, I pre­sume. He was the drum­mer for The Scrams.). “Bass Hog” joins them on one tune and, even bet­ter, “Sax Hog” plays on two oth­ers.

One of those, “Pig­tails,” is, for the mo­ment at least, my fa­vorite tune on this record. It sounds like some kind of early ’60s rock bal­lad — or maybe a pow­er­ful Reign­ing Sound tune. I’m not sure which Hog is sing­ing, but he pours his guts into it. And Sax Hog earns his slop on this one. (I’m a sucker for a sax on punk songs, so let’s have a mo­ment of si­lence for for­mer Stooge Steve Mackay, who died last Oc­to­ber.)

And speak­ing of Reign­ing Sound, the only nono­rig­i­nal song here is an in­spired cover of the Greg Cartwright­penned “Drown­ing,” which first ap­peared on RS’s al­bum Too Much Guitar! Like they do on “Pig­tails,” the Hogs give this one a lot of heart and soul. Try a lit­tle rock ’n’ roll pork at www.sex­hogs.band­camp.com. ▼ Ap­pren­tice by The Blues Against Youth. This is a one-man band from Italy, that one-man be­ing a Ro­man guy named Gianni TBAY. (TBAY. Think about it.) He sings and plays guitar (lots of slide!) and drums. His sound is rem­i­nis­cent of Amer­i­can one-man bands like Scott H. Bi­ram and John Schoo­ley, with both coun­try and blues roots and a D.I.Y. punk-rock sensibility.

This al­bum starts off with a slow and purdy blues in­stru­men­tal called “Keep It Goin’.” At just over a minute long, how­ever, this re­ally is just an in­vo­ca­tion to the blues spir­its. The faster-paced “Medium Size Star Bound” is the real opener. It fea­tures some tasty pick­ing and lyrics about ca­reer frus­tra­tion (“Medium size star bound/They can make you drown/Turn you up­side down/But they can’t take your heart.” And in the mid­dle, where you might ex­pect a guitar solo, Gianni gives us a whis­tle solo. No, it’s not played on a whis­tle in­stru­ment — he ac­tu­ally whis­tles a melody. Truly whistling is a lost art in rock ’n’ roll.

One of my fa­vorites here is “Got Blood in My Rhythm,” a jaunty num­ber that would work for ei­ther the Rolling Stones (Ex­ile on Main St.-era) as well as Di­nosaur Jr. And did I say some­thing about coun­try roots? There’s a stun­ning cover here of one of Hank Wil­liams’ sad­dest songs, “I Heard That Lone­some Whis­tle Blow.”

The al­bum’s most im­pres­sive num­ber is the ti­tle song, a seven-minute hard, gritty blues. Com­ing from out of nowhere, there’s an elec­tric or­gan solo that’s noth­ing short of spooky. I’m not sure if this is Gianni or an­other mu­si­cian. All I know is that it works. There is all sorts of Blues Against Youth mu­sic, in­clud­ing

Ap­pren­tice, avail­able at www.the­blue­sagain­sty­outh. band­camp.com.

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