Wednesday, June 06, 2018

Raunch Hands - Learn to Whap-a-Dang

I've been pulling out my Raunch Hands records again after the untimely passing of singer Michael Chandler and, of course, immensely diggin' their rock'n'roll sounds. A mixture of Link Wray, garage, 50's rock'n'roll, R'n'B (the real thing), country, blues and gawd knows what else, the band rocked'n'swang'n'swayed'n'drank their way through the States and beyond in their reasonably short time span. Several great slabs of vinyl remain but, of course, the live shows were where it was at, although the vinyl still crackles'n'pops with proper rockin' energy and humor. Hard to really describe these cats, but they had a smokin' rhythm section, two hot-shot guitars, and, at times, a sax all wailin' behind Chandler as he yelped, yodeled and, yes, even sang their raunchy tunes.

There's plenty of punk energy blastin' outta their white trash garage doors in the opening "What Yer Doin'" while Michael wheezes out some harmonica over frantic walkin' bass lines and twangy guitars. They slow down slightly for the more swingin' "Getcha Some" (nice dynamics here, too), then pay homage to countrified Wray in "Chicken Scratch" (the sax yowling properly), add some gamblin' proselytizin' with cooly revered guitars on "Blackjack", mix in more country crossed with Bo Diddley for the continually modulating (in both chords and speed) "Kangaroo Juice" and then put side one to "rest" with a wild call'n'answer take on the sax-fueled "Thunderbird" (a live fave, fer shure).

They teach everyone their latest dance craze in the upbeat blues-sleaze of "Whap-a-Dang", delve a bit more in C&W appropriately for "Country Fair", pick up some Eastern sax-led melodies for the instrumental "Exotic", get positively frantic in the Game-of-Telephone tale of "Is It True" and continues the pace in the surf-guitar sexism of "Chicken of the Sea" (with a smatterin' of "what do you do with a drunken sailor" appearing) and then the shenanigins come to a close with the wild R'n'B ravin' instro "Upset Her".

These cats weren't afraid to toss the whole kit'n'kaboodle of "roots music" into their musical blender, set it on high and see where is all splashes out! Great, fun stuff!