The Best Of Hot Rod Love
If everything Robert Johnson knew about music was based solely on listening to soundtracks from Roger Corman biker movies, he might have sounded like Red Stuff, Milwaukee’s pre-eminent backwoods scuzz-surf duo. The group’s full-length debut, The Best Of Hot Rod Love, is built on minimalist gutbucket guitar riffs, clinky organ fills, and primordial rhythms that appear to have oozed slowly out of a deep, dark muck made of oil, dirt, and bathtub gin. Guitarist Tom Wanderer hosts the Thursday afternoon blues show on WMSE, and his love of obscure vinyl is evidenced on the record’s lovingly packaged artwork. But while the influences Wanderer and bandmate Kelly Buros are drawing on are discernable—think Dick Dale jamming with Jack White and Devo’s rhythm section—the final result is its own demented beast.
“The New Country Swag” is a clanging shuffle streaked with recovered shrapnel from an old Brian Jones slide-guitar riff, while “Waimea Wave Club” hangs 10 while nodding to the fuzzy lo-fi pop of prime-era Guided By Voices. Wanderer lends his artless growl to a handful of tracks, but otherwise The Best Of Hot Love is an ideal instrumental accompaniment for leather-clad barroom brawls. Who wants a piece?