BY TIM HINELY
What were you doing last year on Super Bowl Sunday? I’m going to imagine you were watching the Seahawks slaughter the Broncos. Yes, it was a depressing one (especially if, like me, you live in Denver)—but meanwhile, Brooklyn garage rock mainstays the A-Bones were cutting a record. Not just any old record, but their first one in five years. Although the band has been doing their thing for 30 years, they’ve still kept a pretty low profile and only release records sporadically.
The leaders of the band, Billy Miller and his wife Miriam Linna, also run the band’s record label, Norton Records, so that keeps ’em busy. If you follow Hoboken band Yo la Tengo you’ll want to know that guitarist Ira Kaplan plays on this new record (piano, organ and guitar), while YLT bassist James McNew recorded it. The A-Bones songs are loud, trashy and fun and it seems like McNew wanted them to be in the red as fast as they could go. Lots of overloaded guitar and plenty of howling for a rockin’ good time.
The band only wrote a couple of the songs, as most are covers, but even on those they put the A-Bones stamp. Like Chuck Berry’s “Tulane” and Billy Garner’s “Little School Boy.” And “Lula Baby” is so overloaded the circuits in our house blew while playing it; ditto with “Luci Baines.” The former is one of the few originals on here while the latter was written by none other than Arthur Lee in his pre-Love band. This is the real deal, folks, not some pointy-toe-shoe crap. Important note: on the cover of the record, some of the musicians appear to be wearing pointy shoes. We here at BLURT are not passing judgment. [Thanks for that. I sold shoes for 10 years back in the ‘90s to support my rekkird habit. —Footgear Ed.] Give the Black Keys a break and try on the A-Bones for size. I’ve got the Brannock Device waiting for you.
DOWNLOAD: “Questions I Can’t Answer,” “”Oh Yeah,” “Lula Baby,” “Catahoula Stomp”