Alive Naturalsound Records

Independent record label based in LA. Home to The Black Keys, Two Gallants, Buffalo Killers, Radio Moscow, Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires, Hacienda, John The Conqueror, Brian Olive, Black Diamond Heavies, Left Lane Cruiser, T-Model Ford, Thomas Function, Waves Of Fury, etc. More at

Thursday, March 20, 2008


Reviewby Jo-Ann Greene

In another life, Freddie J IV could have been a good ol' fingerpickin', porch-playin' blues guitarist. Basking away in the sun, he could have whiled away his time exploring the many shades of blues, from country hit whittling to Delta swamp wading. But there was fire in his belly and a flame in his soul, and in his hands the blues were transformed into an assault weapon. Bren "Sausage Paw" Beck was perhaps every mother's nightmare, a boy who seemingly just couldn't sit still. In a world pulsing with rhythm -- from the blood pounding through our veins to the cacophony of traffic in our towns -- Beck had to drum back in response at every turn, on anything and everything available. He is a continuous tattoo, battering out the beats of his own internal drums. Fatefully, one day the two met, and so was born Left Lane Cruiser, an astounding two-man blues band. Lo-fi is a totally inadequate term to describe their sound, a sizzling mix of Beck's pusillanimous drums, claps, percussion, and hoots and hollers and Freddie J's blistering guitar and husky vocals. This is the blues in their purest form, rough and ragged, rubbed raw by too much hard living and too many tough breaks. The blues' African-American progenitors could bare the pain in their souls, but dared not express the anger that underlay it. Cruiser, however, are under no such constraints, and on the trio of songs that close the set the music bristles with barely repressed rage that immediately brings the Stooges to mind. In contrast, the exuberant crash and bash of "Wash It," the dizzy stomp of "KFD," and the gleeful hook of "G Bob" all roil with a grand joie de vivre, with the exhilarating "Set Me Down" the perfect band anthem. Then again, every track on Bring Yo' Ass to the Table ripples with energy and an electric charge of creative frisson. Whether celebrating a plate of "Pork n' Beans," "Big Momma"'s delights, or "G Bob"'s steel guitar playing, the Cruisers rumble through the back streets of life, focusing on the small details, although the scathing "Amerika" does look at the bigger picture. A thoroughly unique journey down a well-traveled road; best now to sit yo' ass down a spell and listen to this stunning album.

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