STAGGERS, THE: The Sights, The Sounds, The Fear, and The Pain: CD

Jul 06, 2007

I love it when a band confounds expectation. The Staggers are primarily—for lack of a better term—rockabilly punk. They sway. The bass is prevalent and jumpy. The singer can croon and hold a note. Although it’s obvious he’s not aping Glenn Danzig, an argument could be made that his vocal stylings are similar. Some of them have high triangle haircuts. I was all ready to listen to a band from a limited universe that’s listened to Tiger Army and the Reverend Horton Heat and regurgitate stories about hot rods, Betty Page, and burning rubber. Or maybe some ooky spooky graveyard stuff. How wrong I was. Shame on me for pegging ‘em before pushing play. They pump new life into rockabilly by using it as a springboard to cannonball into a new pool of ideas. They pull off a great western-themed instrumental. They cover Masters of the Obvious’ song, “Primeval,” fuckin’ spot-on (which is super hard, figuring on the damage quirk pop to rockabilly conversion charts are a bitch to compute). And the clincher? They take lyrics from the great kid’s book Where the Sidewalk Ends and make it a song I want to hold a beer over my head and shout along to. An unexpected, fun, and cool surprise. Also includes a soulful, enjoyable campfire acoustic set and three videos.

 –todd (Haunted Town)