CRUSHWATER: The Cactus Storm EP

This band from Port Angeles, Washington was formed in 2016 when singer/violinist Chandra Johnson joined forces with frontman/guitarist Scott Sullivan and drummer Casey Northern. The three members began melding their various styles together leading up to the release of their debut EP, The Cactus Storm.

Playing a nice mix of country/folk/rock, this three-piece really gets things going on the first real track after the intro. “Fly Fly Fly” has a nice little groove going on and the mix of the male and female vocals really give the song a good contrast since they complement each other so well. The violin just makes this song a real treat since it gives it a terrific sound. “Blue Moon” is another great track with the instruments interweaving so beautifully that the song gave me goosebumps. The way that it gets more rocking really was a nice surprise and I really can’t get enough of this song. “Starry Skies” was a surprise since I was not expecting a Spanish song, but they managed to pull it off well. They mix the English and Spanish lyrics with ease and the music was upbeat and fun. “California” is a great slower track that was melancholy and really had a lot of feeling and emotion in it.

The EP has great playing, amazing vocals and so much real emotion going for it that I fell in love with this band. If this is the first thing they have put out, I’m looking so forward to what the next release will be like.

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HOT RODDIN’ ROMEOS: Russian Roulette: CD

Launched in 2007, HOT RODDIN’ ROMEOS they released their first EP The Crown and now they have their newest CD, Russian Roulette out on Splatterhouse Wreckords.

This thirteen song CD starts off with “Wishin’ You Were Gone” a 1950s style rock’n’roll burner of a song with a ton of energy and excitement galore on the guitar playing, with strong drumming, pounding bass guitar and powerful lyrics that end off the song with swearing and arguing and a child asking where’s his mom. “Russian Roulette” kicks off with the sound of hand cuffs closing and a strong rockabilly beat with some great lyrics, guitar playing and this song will certainly stick in your head after you’ve put the CD away. The band really gets down and lays the rock’n’roll sound down, but it isn’t slavishly done because even though they use that as their major style, you can hear some harder edges to their sound. Other songs on here that stood out were “”My Baby Left Me “Cause I Didn’t Have No Hot Rod””, which had some blues mixed in, “Diamond Ring” with its country influence, “Trailer Trash Whore” which I loved, “Romeo Is Always King”, and “Six Inch Heels And Dynamite”. There is a bonus song at the end which was a cool acoustic number that had a country / rock’n’roll feel to it. There is just a ton of great songs on this CD that it was hard to pick out just a few to highlight.

This had a great assortment of styles that made for a great listen, and the band is incredibly talented. This is on album that will be in the car when my wife and I go out for a drive.


Half Grass cover art

Five piece psychobilly band that’s heavy on the ‘billy, their previous two albums, 2010’s Bender Bound EP, and 2011’s Boozed and Bloody, have been well-received and now we have their album, Half Grass.

ANGIE & THE CAR WRECKS have a great, fun and energetic sound on their album, you can almost feel their smiles as you listen to Half Grass’ eleven tight songs. “31 Coupe” gets the album off to a raging start with the band hitting all cylinders on this terrific song, that energy continues into “Draggin Down”, where the band is doing everything to get you up and dancing. “Dark Ride” is where the psycho part kicks in with its spooky sound and feel, and that carries us into “Billy Ghoul” where it’s not as spooky, but still a twisted little song all the same. Some of the songs that stood out for me were “Bottle & Friends”, and “Maniac” which reminded me of BOW WOW WOW a bit with the drumming, the guitar playing and the dual vocals, especially from Angie Ball who plays acoustic guitar and sounds like Annabella Lwin from BOW WOW WOW on a few tracks. “Duster Death Machine” had the sound and feel of being in a juke joint back in the 1950’s with its more traditional country sound, “Bender Bound”, and “Your Day Has Come” were other killer tracks and last song “Creeper” had a nice bluegrass sound.

A cool and varied album that took me all over the place with its diversions into similar, yet different genres. This was a trip that was well worth the journey and you don’t even have to sit beside toothless rednecks to have fun.