Monday, November 16, 2009

Heavy Trash — Midnight Soul Serenade

Jon Spencer and Matt Verta-Ray's third full-length Heavy Trash release goes a bit beyond what they've done in the past, but there's still more than enough familiarity to assure that existing fans should be kept happy.
Verta-Ray's electric guitar solos are just one of the interesting ingredients of the haphazardly wonderful "Gee, I Really Love You," and the backing vocals by Those Darlins on "Good Man" represent just a fraction of the album's guest contributions. 
"Pimento" is a primarily instrumental track with lots of organ, "(Sometimes You Got To Be) Gentle" is a big-sounding garage rocker, "Bedevilment" is pure trashabilly, "That's What Your Love Gets" turns back the clocks 50 years and the album ends with a blues-influenced love song, "In My Heart."
Spencer is by no means a classic crooner, but his approach works well as he talk-sings through the multi-dimensional "Isolation." It's not as effective when he talks most of the way through "Sweet Little Bird" and the slow and somewhat sinister "The Pill."
"Bumble Bee," a 1960 single from LaVern Baker, is the only non-original among the disc's 11 tracks, but it's presented in the reliable Heavy Trash style.
Midnight Soul Serenade offers dark, greasy rock-and-roll for those into that sort of thing. I am. I'll rate this album an 8/10.

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