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Published: 2012/10/16
by Brian Robbins

Double Naught Spy Car
Western Violence

Eleven Foot Pole Record Company

Oh, what a trip: spin Double Naught Spy Car’s new Western Violence album and off you go, straight to a world where stringmaster David Lindley is the Supreme Ruler of the planet. (We’re talking some seriously funky polyester robes here.)

This is a place where Double Naught Spy Car is the soundtrack to life itself: it’s what you hear blasting out of the dash speakers of split-windshield Woodies lugging surfboards to the beach; wafting through the clove-and-lemon-scented open air of the tiki bars; it’s the music that rocks the casbahs. Western Violence does all that and more with its El-Rayo-X-meets-Dick-Dale-meets-Frank-Zappa all-instrumental blend of technical virtuosity, humor, eclectic world roots, and just plain weird shit. (But cool weird shit.)

Double Naught Spy Car – Joe Berardi on drums, percussion, and sweet, sweet marimba; Marc Doten on bass and keyboards; Paul Lacques and Marcus Watkins on guitars of all manner (except when Watkins is squeezing an accordion) – are awfully good at what they do, combining super-tight arrangements with reckless muse-of-the-moment. How do you grit your teeth and hang on while keeping your tongue firmly planted in your cheek? Beats me, but these fellows do it.

Right off the bat “Halliburton Snowboard” takes off with a mix of pile-driving rhythm and soaring guitar. Watkins and Lacques pull off an amazing tag-team break midway through; Doten and Berardi lug things for a bit while the song catches its breath; then the whole band dives headlong into a cartwheeling finale. The stage is set: Double Naught Spy Car is capable of moments of campy near-goofiness that are balanced by incredible playing on the part of all hands. In short: this is fun.

“The Italian” offers teases of cool Spaghetti Western guitar leads, but is really all about the funky-funk funkiness of Doten’s syrupy disco bass lines and Berardi’s get-down drums. “Feral Kitty” could be a long-lost bootleg of a verrrrry laid-back Roy Buchanan/Danny Gatton jam with Lacques and Watkins doing some nice weaving (with one finger-blistering outburst on somebody’s part towards the end). “LARFD” features end-of-the-world drums bashing noggins with some wickedly-wah-wahhed guitar.

Berardi and Doten earn their jazzbo merit badges on “Big Noize Outta Manteca” laying down some serious thumpa-wumpa-boom-boom throughout. Berardi channels Buddy Rich when he takes a break midway through the tune; Doten follows with a bass solo that sounds and feels like the springs of the world’s biggest clock unwinding. (While you’re at it, check out Lacques’ lap steel workout at the 1:20 mark: no tricks – just bar and finger picks. Watkins follows with some wild-ass fret surfing.)

If “Don Martin Shoes” was named for the famous Mad magazine cartoonist, then yes: this is exactly what his shoes would sound like. The smooth tango of “The Eyegore Of One” is offset by a guitar lead that crash lands into the middle of the party like a UFO full of drunk aliens. “Journey To The Center Of Guitar Center” is as advertised: pure picking porn. And the title tune? This thing is just waiting for the movie to be made to go with it, chock full of galloping horses ridden by brutally-handsome heroes whose hats never blow off. Even when the flying lizard monkeys show up a couple minutes in. Yeeeehaaaaaa!

Western Violence is a baker’s dozen of guaranteed smiles, boys and girls. One listen and you’ll be wanting to know when the mothership is coming to gather up its next load of visitors to Planet Lindley.

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