Butt Brew

Canadians double up for a sock-hop clank that's not just retro

With the Goner label slapped on b&w loaf-eye artwork, one might expect the usual trashy garage roustabouts here, and there's that. After all, the dudes of this duo cut their teeth trying to open pesky no-twist-off Canadian beers when they should've been finishing a song with Montreal mid-'90s slop rockers the Spaceshits. Presently, they've each got their own thing going—BBQ's a one-man band, and King Kahn fronts a jerkass James Brown–modeled minstrel revue that wows the garage geeks in Kahn's now-digs of Germany.

But this?! Butting their heads has harvested a fruitful brew. The clanky two-guitar and two-piece-drum-set stomp is suffused with heartrending '50s sock hop ("Waddling Around") and cornball pop pleading ("Got It Made"), while still punk-peeved enough to name an ex-mate retort "Pig Pig" (she's not just a pig). Even when they go the regular retro route, like the surf 'n' turf of "Fish Fight," they do so without hackneyed Dick Dale fret runs. Of course they're not really skilled enough to be hackneyed. Knock-kneed maybe, as they fumble with a charm rare in the gonzo garage fringe.

 
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