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Friday, July 15, 2005

Review: Gun Club - Fire Of Love

Punk blues psychobilly legends Gun Club came out of Los Angeles and were a death ride to hell compared to X's desperate party to perdition and The Blasters plain old party. Fire Of Love was their debut in 1981 and it's the first true hardcore blues country roots record. It starts fast and ends slow, a wave of energy that explodes and then settles into a drunken coma. It would be lost in the crowd if you stumbled on it today but it was the real deal then and considered dangerous.

I never went for Gun Club in any big way because I don't enjoy humorless nihilism and I like most songs uptempo. I also larfed a bit at Los Angeles bands who pretended they lived in the old west as conceived by Charles Manson.

"Sex Beat" opens the album and it's their best, evoking both X and The Angry Samoans. "Preaching The Blues" follows and it also kills, reminding me that Soul Asylum's underrated Say What You Will is like this but not as hard. "Promise Me" combines Delta blues and The Velvet Underground, which is quite a trick if you ask me.

On the album Gun Club also evokes The Cramps, roadhouse blues and straight country (old skool!). The last third runs slow - too slow for me since it's not 2AM and I'm not drunk and angry when I listen to it.

I highly recommend this to Social Distortion fans (latter day).


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