The Upshot: It doesn’t get realer or rawer than this kids. Check the white wax and hear some toons, below. We’ve also got a special live clip for you to check out.
BY BARRY ST. VITUS
When ex-Lazy Cowgirls’ head honcho Pat Todd hits the stage, it’s hellzapoppin’ time. Longtime Todd fans have known this since the ‘80s, of course, but newcomers to the cause should be forewarned. For Blood & Treasure (Hound Gawd! Records), Todd’s fourth release with his current project the Rankoutsiders, the man renowned for his low, growling, raw, whiskey-soaked vocals, returns in fine form with a new portfolio of hardboiled, bluesy, ball-busting tunes.
In fact, as one would expect, everything about it seems whiskey-soaked, and washed up in the gutter down at the corner of 14th and Nowhere. While Blood & Treasure doesn’t quite meet the total awesomeness of that 2013 album, it has plenty of moments. While there’s a slightly higher percentage of slow songs, compared to that title, Blood & Treasure is seriously kickass on every level. His Rankoutsiders include old L.C bassist, Rick Johnson, L.C/Creamers alum Bob Deagle on drum kit, and R.O./L.A. Guns guitarist Nick Alexander. Jeremy White, Brian Irving and Kevin Keller round out the group. Earle Mankey diddled the knobs, making it all sound bright, tight and just right.
The boys rock their best on “This Counterfeit World,” “My Own Way,” “Don’t Be Sellin’ Emptiness To Me,” and the joyous and infectious “Somedays You Eat The Bear, Somedays The Bear Eats You,” all which have their patented, R.O/L.C. sound.
If there was an inheritor herein to Cowgirls classics like “Goddamn Bottle” or “Rock of Gibraltar,” it would have to be “Gone Are The Days,” a real stomper.
Also, there’s the usual expected tip of the hat to the Rolling Stones on “West Of Your Last Chance” and “Stand Up And Sass Back,” a la early Deadstring Brothers. Even better are several songs that are Dave Edmunds incarnate, “Sugar Coated Love,” “Tell Me Now,” “I Hear You Knockin’” (no, not that one), and “Gone Are The Days.” The only thing missing is Edmunds’ voice, but still, my favorite cuts on the album.
It doesn’t get realer or rawer than this kids, and, like the force majeure that is 14th and Nowhere, it’s bound to be on repeat on your player for quite some time. (Below: watch the Rankoutsiders live at the Liars Club in Chicago this past April.)