Rockcrit Ted Drozdowski has spent the better part of a lifetime dissecting the
corpus delicti of both rawk and blooze, so it should come as no surprise to
anybody or their mother that the cat has absorbed a few musical chops of his
own in the process. Take a dash o’ Junior Kimbrough and that ole Mississippi
Hill Country sound, throw in a soupcon of Son House/Robert Johnson styled Delta
sharecropper vibe, and stir throughout with loudly amped garage-punk aesthetic
(I’m thinking Sky Saxon here, folks) and you have the steel-toed ‘drum-punter
that is the Scissormen’s debut LP, Luck In
Slap this tasty little sucker on yer box and Luck In A Hurry will save you time by
peeling the paint and plaster from the walls of any room you’d like to
renovate. Ted D’s vocals sound like Jonathan Richman with a mouthful of dirty
marbles, but he coaxes sounds out of his battered guitar that sound like
nothing made by man, beast, nor electronic gadgetry.
Drummer Rob Hulsman, a veteran hisself of cowpunk
room-clearers Nine Pound Hammer, slaps-and-tickles the cans like a man with a
fever, providing a downright wicked big-beat thunder for Droz to rein lightning
down upon. When Hulsman’s not around, a skin-blaster by the name of Larry
Dersch picks up the sticks and lays down the law with equal sonic aplomb.
“The proof is in the pudding,” as granny used to
say, and the Scissormen stumble, mumble and snort their way through these
(mostly original) tunes like a drunken bull in a china shop. Droz winds up his
axe until it sounds like the ass-end of a jet engine for a cover of Son House’s
“Death Letter,” alternating dark, soulful vocal passages in the
master’s voice with white-light blasts of six-string fury. “Junior’s
Blues” is a fitting tribute to the Mississippi
blues great, feedback-laden nails-on-the-fretboard string-scrape matched by
Droz’s street-smart lyrics and downtuned vocals.
A manic reading of the traditional “John The
Revelator” hits your ears like an acid-washed, speed-demon fever-dream
while “When The Devil Calls” is Skip James-styled country-blues that
sounds like it was torn from an cracked 78 and features Drozdowski’s most
subtle, nuanced and thus powerful vocal/six-string evocation. “Mattie
Sweet Mattie” updates the Parchman Farm blues mythology with a touch of
barrelhouse piano and waves of disturbo-fretwork supporting a tale of
tribulation. By the time that Dan Kellar’s fiddle cries its way in, you’ve been
sentenced to a life in the blues.
Luck In A Hurry delivers
plenty of greasy juke-joint blues, deliberate and menacing and sounding like a
million smackeroos, with enough slow-burning flame to satisfy the dwindling
purist ranks, and enough distortion, angst and crackling energy to appeal to
the Guitar Hero addicted masses.
Scissormen is kinda like a shot of my old pal Mr. Beach’s home-brewed
shine…rough as hell going down, but it lights a nice fire in the belly.
Standout Tracks: “Death
Letter,” “When The Devil Calls” REV. KEITH A. GORDON