posted on 2/2008 By:
This one serves up a healthy platter of what you’d expect from a band named Backwoods Payback. Thankfully, the band pulls off their brand of bluesy, southern sludge-leaning, bravado-rich rock better than they do their name. Not a fan of that moniker, or of the similarly minded opening track, where Backwoods Payback beat you over the head with what whiskey-swilling miscreants they are. The repetitive dual vocals appealing “I thought I told you before, I’m a motherfucker” and “You don’t wanna fuck with me,” are brushed on too thick. These guys are better off when they ease up on the chest beating and let their music do the talking. The good news is that’s really the only substantive gripe I have with this album; Backwoods Payback have the potential to make a sizable splash, and will be an easy sell to the fans of Scissorfight, Artimus Pyledriver, and even Alabama Thunderpussy and Clutch.
To their credit, Backwoods Payback adeptly keep things interesting, as even within their niche style they’re able to convey a variety of raucous, soulful, and menacing moods. Album highlight “Kill All Hell” sports the kind of rollicking southern boogie riff and emphatic, sing-along vocals that force critics (and listeners) to happily fall back with a big dumb grin on such hackneyed descriptions as “beer drinkin’ and hellrasin’’” music. “Baja 6 Pack” employs a simple riff that pays off with a punctuating ass-swinging loose groove of a lick. On “You Shittin Me?” the band uses a gnarly rough and tumble marching groove, but then pepper in sections of massive, ringing chords that change the complection of the song. They then move from the most menacing moments of the album to the airy and laid back head nodding stonerific follow up, “Dirtbike.” The Backwoods crew have similar success when they slow down for a handful of tracks, like the drunken-lilt of the organ-infused “Brandywine”, and “Bastard Squad,” which has some cool low/high doubled vocals. They even get some vocal help from Dave Sherman (Earthride, ex-Spirit Caravan) on infectious closer “16 Penny Driven”.
Almost more of an interesting aside–-the clearly enunciated crooning vocals over the bluesy material can sometimes spawn very fleeting vocal comparisons to Glenn Danzig, or more accurately (and obscurely), there are several moments when I’m reminded of Sean Garrison of the late, great Kinghorse, whose only album, coincidentally, was produced by Evil Elvis himself. Maybe there’s another connection to those artists as well, in that it seems possible that BP likely have some hardcore roots (maybe it’s just their association with CKY). The beardy, southern thing is pretty trendy these days, although it’s certainly hard to judge authenticity or intent. Much clearer is the fact that Backwoods Payback are a capable young band who’ve crafted a fun little album that will go a long way to scratch your itch when it comes to fuzzed out, gritty rock.
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