Local Wire

Heavy Trash

There are several ways to play rockabilly nowadays: the gentlemanly way (Robert Gordon, Sleepy LaBeef), the roots-conscious 1955 hepcat way (High Noon, Big Sandy & the Fly-Rite Boys), glam-revival (Stray Cats, Polecats), and the mondo-demento lunacy/ribaldry of the Cramps and Reverend Horton Heat. (Can't forget the Blasters — in a class by themselves, natch.) Then there's Heavy Trash, the duo of Matt Verta-Ray (Madder Rose, Speedball Baby) and Jon Spencer (Pussy Galore, his Blues Explosion). These two ambitious, randy miscreants take a little from each approach (well, not so much the gentleman category) and kick it up a notch or three. They lay on the echo with a ladle and rock out righteously (with or without drums!) like they're hopped-up on goofballs. Crackling, sputtering guitars and hiccupping vocals with a roguish rasp nicely balance cheekiness and earnestness. Going Way Out . . . starts with the wiry, Charlie Feathers-like "Pure Gold," blazes through the psychobilly/thrash/ rap "I Want Oblivion," and goes beyond warp nine with the bluesy, surreal Tom Waits-meets-John Lee Hooker-ish "You Can't Win." Not for the faint of heart or strict rockabilly purists, Going Way Out . . . will get you going in the a.m. (or p.m.) better than a triple cappuccino/No-Doz cocktail.
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Mark Keresman