Railroad Jerk: The Third Rail

Railroad Jerk: The Third Rail

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Album: The Third Rail
Label: Matador

Now in its seventh year, Railroad Jerk is almost as popular as it was in its first. While a tour with popular labelmate/fellow blues castoff The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion could expose Railroad Jerk to a wide and receptive audience, the band will unfortunately not be touring behind its strongest album. Not that The Third Rail is a bad record; it's merely a different side of the industrial blues the band developed on its last three albums. The choppy guitars have been rendered smoother, and the change-up drumming frenzy is muted. Unchanged are singer Marcellus Hall's honky soul vocals, and lyrics which can be interpreted as either touching and insightful or hilarious non-sequitur jokesterism. The Third Rail is a lot quieter than its predecessors, it has no clear single, and it takes longer to click. When it does click, however, it'll happen while you're waiting on the corner for the light to change, when you suddenly find yourself belting out lyrics you didn't think you noticed the first time. And if nothing else, The Third Rail has the best recorded use of a power drill in the history of music.