Local Wire

Hogjaw

Phoenix-based swamp-rock band Hogjaw couldn't have picked a better time to release their new album, Ironwood. After all, Arizona is descending into redneck depravity with the "birther" bill, SB 1070, and, most pertinent to Hogjaw, the legalization of carrying a concealed weapon without permit. We're going to need a crazed Southern rock soundtrack to play as we get our papers in order, and Ironwood is such a record, a nearly perfect take on the guitar histrionics of Molly Hatchet and Lynyrd Skynryd. A chunky metal edge even suggests these dudes might have a couple of Mastodon LPs in their collection. Songs like "Three Fifty Seven" are so rocking it's almost possible to disregard the band's cartoonishly pro-gun image, or the fact that their last record was lauded by a website called Libertarian Punk; with wah-wah guitars and Hammond B-3 organ grinding so precise, it's enough to make this bleeding heart want to reach for a Miller High Life and head for the shooting range. The band's tour, which kicks off at the Blooze Bar, looks to take them into the South, where having a lead singer named Jonboat Jones should help establish some hick-rock credibility.
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Jason P. Woodbury is a music and pop-culture writer based in Phoenix. He is a regular contributor to the music blog Aquarium Drunkard and co-host of the Transmissions podcast.