Friday, June 18, 2010

Miracle Workers – Overdose

I have written of my love for the MW’s several times already and just pulled out this record (as far as I know it has not been reissued on CD yet, which is a crime) again. This was their first full-length release after the Bomp garage masterpiece, Inside Out, and they had already moved into a much harder, stripped-down sound, with the loss of Joel & Danny (bass and organ respectively) and the addition of new bassist Rob Butler (ex-Untold Fables).

This record is raw as hell (their later records have more professional production), and is just bursting with high-energy madness. Right from the top they have a couple of their best tunes ever, “R’n’R Revolution in the Streets Pt 2” (part one is fantastic, as well, but came later!) and “Lights, Camera, Action”. These highlight their Stooges/MC5 and even Motorhead influences to great effect while still retaining their originality. Super songwriting and amazing playing all around, especially by guitar hero Matt Rogers!

Lessening the intensity just a bit is the lengthyly titled “Just Can’t Find A Better Way to Waste My Time”, with nice use of dynamics showcasing Gerry’s vocals. As I recall, “No Use” was an older song that was given the heavy treatment and made into a rockin’ head-banger! “Without Her Around” follows and is another updated garage rocker with some nice dual guitar/feedback work.

Another lesson in songwriting is “When a Woman Calls My Name”, which shows that you can use the same chords throughout a song, but with the use of good lyrics & melody and clever dynamics, you can create a terrific tune and keep it interesting throughout. The closest thing that these cats got to a ballad at this time was “She’s Got a Patron Saint”, a slower (though certainly not wimpy) tune with more cool words from Gerry and a catchy call and answer ending chorus.

Taking one of my favorite songs from one of my favorite bands, The Flamin’ Groovies’ “Teenage Head”, they made me jealous by recording this before I got a chance to even cover any of their tunes, other than in my teenage bands. They took another garage rocker, “When Are You Gonna Care”, and made it into yet another blazingly fast blitzkrieg of r’n’r. The record closed with a ploddingly intense take on the Stooges’ “Little Doll”, complete with an extended psychedelic freak-out at the end!

As with all of the MW’s albums, this one is a must for lovers of raw, high-energy, Detroit-styled, updated garage rock!