Browsing articles tagged with " Painkillers"
Jun
26

Blues Review – James Leg & Left Lane Cruiser “Painkillers”

June 26, 2012 - By Trigger  //  Reviews  //  16 Comments

Holy shitballs.

Listen to me folks, GET THIS ALBUM! I know it’s my job as some high fallutin’ music writer to come up with a bunch of stuff to say about music. But after listening to Painkillers, if I were you, I’d skip all the gabbing and just go get it. And then find the biggest, loudest audio player you can procure and crank it to 10. If you want to flatter me, come back and read the rest at some other point.

The merging of Black Diamond Heavies keys player James Leg with the dirty punk blues duo Left Lane Cruiser known as Painkillers is not a cover album. No, it’s a concept album. Yes, it is made of all covers, songs like “Come to Poppa” made popular by Bob Seger, “When The Levee Breaks” by Led Zepplin, but this is a concept album in the truest sense. Concept is what so many albums are lacking these days, and how this album takes a rag tag of recognizable songs from the rock and blues worlds and makes them into a remarkable collection that marks the most viscerally-satisfying album I have heard so far this year. Wanton, ribald, reckless, and uninhibited, Painkillers will have you slam dancing and pissing off the neighbors.

Painkillers isn’t just a catchy idea to sketch some cover art around, it is the idea this album is built from, to take a bunch of timeless, kick ass songs, give them the dirty, heavy-handed Left Lane Cruiser/James leg punk blues treatment, with the result being an album that is perfectly concocted to kill pain. That’s what’s so genius about it. If they had released a batch of original songs under this concept, the painkilling would just be a placebo. By taking songs we all know and love already, songs that mean something to us, the medicine is potent, fast-acting, striking right at your gut.

How’s the instrumentation on the album? The approach? Dirty. Real dirty. Nasty, filthy. All the songs are awash in a mess of gritty reverb and distortion. Don’t come here looking for any lightning-fast chicken-picking licks to tinkling of keys, this is about immersing you in a wall of sound. And though the nasty, dirty punk blues approach may not be for everyone, the song selections are. Pure genius went into picking these songs. For me personally, I didn’t care for some of the blues standards, but “Chevrolet” made famous by Taj Mahal, and The Rolling Stones’ “Sway” are two of my favorite songs of all time, and to hear the James Leg/Left Lane Cruiser tandem do their worst with them was a gift tantamount to a pull of nectar from a goddesses nipple.

One word of caution: Yes, Painkillers is habit forming. (Come on, did you think I was going to make it all the way through this review without some drug cliches?) And just like many albums that pull you right in on the first play, Painkillers can lose its potency rather quickly. But after you set it down for a few days, you will find it calling you back once again.

No joke, if you’re depressed, lonely, angry, sad, whatever, as prescribed, Painkillers will get you to feeling right.

Two guns up!

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Purchase Painkillers from Alive Naturalsound Records

Preview & Purchase Tracks on Amazon

Jun
11

Left Lane Cruiser & James Leg to Release “Painkillers”

June 11, 2012 - By Trigger  //  News  //  11 Comments

Take the insane punk blues of the two-piece Left Lane Cruiser, add the shirtless, sweat-drenched James Leg from the Black Diamond Heavies, and then put them in charge of reviving some of the most legendary songs in blues music, and you’ve got an album dangerous enough to require a prescription. Jim Diamond on bass and the 66-year-old Harmonica Shah on harp round out the lineup assembled for Painkillers, the new cover album due out 6/26/12 on Alive Natural Sound Records.

I normally don’t get this hot and bothered by cover albums, but when you include pound for pound my favorite Taj Mahal song, the funky “Chevrolet,” my favorite Rolling Stones tune, the rolling molasses of “Sway,” and other such high caliber songs from John Lee Hooker, Jr. Kimbrough, Led Zepplin and Jimi Hendrix, it’s enough to get you pitching a tent in your music pants even if you come to the blues from the outside looking in.

This album has some monster songs on it. Just wait until you hear it!

Painkillers can be pre-ordered on Amazon.

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  1. Sad Days Lonely Nights (Jr. Kimbrough)
  2. She’s Gone (Hound Dog Taylor)
  3. Come to Poppa (Bob Seger {W. Mitchel/E. Randle})
  4. Red Rooster (Willie Dixon)
  5. If 6 Was 9 (Jimi Hendrix)
  6. Shake It (John Lee Hooker)
  7. Ramblin’ On My Mind (Robert Johnson)
  8. Chevrolet (Taj Mahal {E. Young/L. Young})
  9. When The Levee Breaks (Led Zepplin, M. Minnie)
  10. Sway (The Rolling Stones {Jagger/Richards})

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