(Artwork care of Karen Ramsay (www.karenramsay.com), profile photo care of brianlackeyphotography.com)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

CD review - Mojo Nixon, Whiskey Rebellion (2009)

Psycho-billy rocker Mojo Nixon is back from the dead (or at least the '90s), with a collection of recordings he found along with a couple of newer pieces. The songs are typical Mojo: over-the-top, simple rockabilly tunes with a heap of attitude on top. Taken as a whole, Whiskey Rebellion feels a little more haphazard than his earlier work because the instrumentation, arrangements, and recording quality vary wildly from song to some.

The world, according to Mojo, is split into the things he likes (Elvis, Kinky Friedman, America) and the larger group of things he hates (Dr Laura, his wife, asparagus, Don Henley, Judge Judy, small planes, drug testing). Mojo taps directly into his inner 13 year old (which is a bit more of a smart ass than his inner 8 year old) and vents forth. This is what he's always done and continues to do here. Once he gets started, nothing slows him down. If it weren't for his sins, he could have become one of those manic southern preachers, almost speaking in tongues he has so much to say.

The high point is clearly Just a Little Favor for the Kinkster, with Prisoner of the Tiki Room and Promised Land II as nearby peaks. Just a Little Favor has a stream of consciousness delivery that warns you that every live version will be different, even while the frantic rockabilly groove stays constant. Prisoner of the Tiki Room is Mojo's send up of Tom Waits. Finally, Promised Land II has enough autobiographical bits mixed in to sort of explain how he got where he is.

The screeds about Judge Judy, Dr. Laura, and urine testing seem fairly dated. And I understand that he wants to support his good friend Kinky Friedman, but reworking Elvis is Everywhere into a campaign song (Kinky is Everywhere) is a weak offering.

All in all, it's a mixed bag. As with all reviews, "if this is the sort of thing you like, you'll like this." I don't know if it's me or Mojo, but I'm not really feeling the magic this time, myself. I used to love Mojo back in the '80s and this doesn't live up that level.

The best link I found for listening was the Amazon site, so drop by and check him out.

Pour yourself some Pearl or PBR while you listen. Sure it's corny, but sometimes that's just what you want.

No comments:

Post a Comment