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The Ribeye Brothers | If I Had A Horse (Meteor City)
Depending on your viewpoint, Meteor City is the label responsible for either the infliction of pain, or the delivery of one scrumptious stoner-riff pizza. Not doing too much noise these days, I have all but one funny bone in the former school of thought. The brutal Unida, Sabbath disciples Goatsnake and - oh lordy - The Atomic Bitchwax are all on Meteor City. The 'Wax (as I presume they're coined by those that need them) features Monster Magnet's Ed Mundell. Another MM side project, for Jon Kleinman and Tim Cronin, is The Ribeye Brothers. So, it was with much concern that I watched the CD tray slide shut to run 'If I Had A Horse...' past my cynical critical gaze. The title track (completed by I'd Buy It Oats And Fuck It) sets the tone immediately - hey, they love The Cramps! That's alright, then. Partial sigh of relief, I got stuck in, as I gawped at the misleading classic alt.country sleeve image of Western fonts, wood effects and horse - here of the staggeringly rare Push-Me-Pull-You breed. Very quickly, it became very predictable, and my mind wandered to the infinitely superior efforts of Link Wray, Nervous Norvous and, naturally, Ivy and Lux's lunatics. Loads of fuzzed-up, scuzzy surf-country guitars, echoey vocals all over and deep within the mix, garage covers, Maureen Tucker pudda-pudda drums, and a general mood of mid-late '60's acid-fuelled tomtittery. It's authentic enough a sound, and they obviously had a scream making this racket, but there's little to hold the attention for long. I once had the unfortunate experience of enduring a live Ride video shoot for their turgid cover of The Creation's classic How Does It Feel To Feel? but it gets a rather more severe seeing-to here. It's all but unrecognisable in a frenzy of slashing guitar and deranged yodelling. That's how to really do a cover version, and it's a highlight. Elsewhere, Ringo's Don't Pass Me By and two garage obscurities from The Keggs aren't so lucky. Mister Ray Charles appears twice (latterly as Mr.), once in crazybilly guise, and as a stoned psych-blues with backwards guitar. It's not a paean to the great man, but a lyrical 'as blind as' tool. Ho-hum. There's the odd wonderfully inept organ solo, and there's Love Theme - just over a minute of tuneless whistling, feedback and clatter, but all in all this is pretty bollocks, really. There are people that love this shit, and the average Monster Magnet completist will revel in it's perversity, but if it is the country tinges that please you, head instead for Trailer Bride, who do this sort of thing with genuine madness.