Jeff Dahl

Battered Stuff: One Acoustic Mother
(Steel Cage)

Although Dahl's the closest thing the Valley has to a punk elder statesman, the bulk of Jeff Dahl's extensive "three chords and a bad attitude" discography has always had more of a kinship with the glam precursors of punk (Mott the Hoople, the New York Dolls, the Stooges) than any of the screamo-groggo-speedo varieties of AZ punk you're used to hearing. Even so, it still comes as a surprise to find a kinder, gentler Dahl here than the one on Street Fighting Reptile, his 2005 album. For the most part, he ditches the six-string razor in favor of the F-hole and the results vary wildly, from T. Rex ("California Blues" could be a contender for The Slider if Dahl, who plays and sings everything here, could ingest helium and impersonate Flo and Eddie) to Hot Tuna (ever think you'd hear an ex-Angry Samoan sing "You got chicken, I got bread, let's make us a sandwich"? Dream no more!). Needless to say, it's an easygoing affair, with one eye on sobriety — after telling us "Ain't Drinkin' Myself to Death No More," he offers "Outta Luck," a touching farewell to Nikki Sudden, who made out like his name when he passed away last year after a Knitting Factory gig. That this sincere album is dedicated to a man who died on account of an enlarged heart seems pretty apropos.
 
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