Victory Motel Sessions
If you were to utter the phrase 'super-group,' within their earshot, they'd probably laugh hysterically right back into your face.
But don't let that change your mind, because King Mud is very much a 'super-group,' especially to fans of the seedy underbelly of roots-related music affectionately known as 'punk blues.'
Comprised of Left Lane Cruiser guitarist/vocalist Freddy J IV and Black Diamond Heavies' drummer Van Campbell, King Mud is the definite exception to the general rule that such arranged musical marriages (in most cases) can be boring, predictable -- and at the end of the day - pretty uninteresting.
Thankfully, Victory Motel Sessions (Alive Naturalsound Records) -- the debut from Kid Mud - is none of the above.
This album is dirty, filthy, noisy and sounds like it could very easily rattle right off the edge of the earth at any second. It's every bit as grimy as the name King Mud might suggest ... and that's a deliciously beautiful thing, indeed.
This project may have evolved out of a casual jam session -- and while it does have that loose, organic feel that indicates Freddy J IV and Campbell are feeling each other out as they blast their way through the set-- it has all the hallmarks that sound like these two cats have been playing together in juke joints and roadhouses for decades.
This is the kind of heavy blues that continue to kick, fight and claw its way onto the radar of mainstream music lovers, current trends be damned.
Victory Motel Sessions storms out of the gates like a blood-thirsty bull bent on revenge with "Rat Time," which is kind of King Mud's demented take on the old Nappy Brown classic, "Night Time Is The Right Time." Packed full of slashing slide guitar and earth-shaking drums, the tune more than sets the tone for what's to follow.
It should be noted that although all the songs are stuffed full of window-rattling explosiveness, the tunes don't all sound the same on Victory Motel Sessions.
For example, "Take A Look" comes off as almost a soulful, southern rock kind of listen. Jump-started with some ghostly howling Dobro, the song really hits its stride when Freddy J IV's vocals enter.
Very enjoyable and almost danceable, to boot.
The duo also rip through a version of Wilko Johnson's (Dr. Feelgood) "Keep It Out Of Sight" - featuring some subtle harp from Patrick French - that is well worth the price of admission, slamming to a stop just before this train runs out of track.
Bonus points are awarded for the appearance of highly under-rated guitarist Parker Griggs, from the highly under-rated group, Radio Moscow, on "Smoked All My Bud" and "I Can Only Give You Everything."
To get to the genesis of this gritty union between Freddy J IV and Van Campbell, give the Black Diamond Heavies' Every Damn Time, as well as Dirty Spliff Blues by Left Lane Cruiser, a spin or two.
For more lowdown on all the above-mentioned groups, check out: www.alive-records.com.