HAUNTED GEORGE: American Crow: CD

Hanging from the Halloween garage musical tree of Screaming Jay Hawkins, The Cramps, the early Misfits, the Blowtops—not to mention George’s old band, The Necessary Evils, is the powerhouse Haunted George. With a mule’s saddle of full-length albums and 7’s behind him as a one-man band, I expected a fun record but, frankly, I also expected more of the same. I do love the pedal echoes of the Born Bad vibe, garage rock stomp that somehow makes perfect sense with horror movie memorabilia and pulpy westerns. Just that this is a deep rut that bands can fall in after one good record and end up going in circles. But I was wrong, pardner. Surprisingly fresh, this album kicks ass, real Deadwood shit. While this is firmly in George’s usual ramblin’ style, it feels advanced from earlier records, lots of good, ominous speed and pluckyness mixing in with the thundering herd. I got excited by each song. The way a gunfighter keeps shooting those cans off the fence, getting tighter. Necessary Evil Jimmy Hole now plays with George, which may add to the change in style while taking away the lovability of the loner one-man band. Alas, I do believe the line that George is living and recording out in the Mohave.

 –mike (In The Red)