And seeing how we're on the topic of cunning linguists: if you can hear them under the drunken din of off-time and out-of-tune instrumentation, the lyrics on the Neckboners'- 'scuse me, the Neckbones'-latest, The Lights Are Getting Dim,are the most brilliantly obnoxious punk scrawl since Crime's San Francisco's Doomed. Well, actually, nothing tops "Crack Whore Blues," off the Neckbones' last album, but listen to this: "I'm going out again/I can't face what I've done/It's a world of sin/And a man's gotta have his fun." Or my favorite: "With my bitch in my car, I am the seventh son, I'm the vice lord." There are two types of rock songs, see-your "Personality Crisis"es and your "Shake Appeal"s-and the Neckbones do 'em both. "Double Time" is a hook-laden, two-chord barrelhouse barnburner, with a David Jo?on-Novocain slur and a mangled Chuck Berry lick that makes Thunders sound like George Benson. "64 Days" has that I'm-a-junked-up-bad-motherfucker James Williamson swagger, complete with strangled lead bursts and rolling basslines played on guitar. "Ocean of Blue" is the record's "Private World." And "Possum Breath" is its "Raw Power."

The reason why I won't put buckshot in their heads is because, just like the 'Mats before them, the Neckbones are approaching roots music head-on, Jack Daniels with no chaser. "One-Two-Three-Four/Now the lights are getting dim." . . . Yes, they are. And as an acoustic guitar plucked out the rest of the album's closer, the "Sweet Virginia"?like blues ballad, "Red Wagon," I called up my aunt in Mississippi.

Supersuckers: no bad habits whatsoever
Supersuckers: no bad habits whatsoever


The Greatest Rock and Roll Band in the World
Sub Pop

Knoxville Girls
Knoxville Girls
In The Red

The Neckbones
The Lights Are Getting Dim
Fat Possum/Epitaph

Fat Possum, Box 1923, Oxford MS 38655; In The Red, 2627 E. Strong Place, Anaheim CA 92806; Sub Pop, 1932 First Avenue, Suite 1103, Seattle WA 98101. The Neckbones play the Continental October 29; Knoxville Girls play the Cooler October 31; Supersuckers play the Knitting Factory November 7.

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