Supergroup — the word alone is pretentious. Super to who, and why? To my recollection there’s been far more terrible black wax than collectible records made by bands coined supergroups. King Mud is the antithesis of this theory. The dynamic duo of Left Lane Cruiser’s Freddy J IV on guitar, the holder of my very favorite record of 2015,and the incomparable time keeping and skin beating by punk blues prophets, the now defunct Black Diamond Heavies’ drummer Van Campbell.
Having been thoroughly enjoying this record since its arrival months ago, Victory Motel Sessions is jam packed with punk blues and sultry runs up and down the neck in slide form with all that textbook Freddy J IV crunch, a couple appearances by label mate Parker Griggs of Radio Moscow on some sailing solos, and the machine gun thunder of Campbells’ drum kit. If there’s a better drum baited rhythmic build up than the first 45 seconds of album opener “Rat Time” I’ve yet to hear it, feel free to send it along if you find that not to be the case. A bluesy extended jam with ample breakdowns and comfort food like alleviation in Freddy’s voice and guitar from years of over listening, Campbells’ drums take the asses out of seats and sets motion to hips like ladies night at Junior’s old Juke Joint, furniture on the lawn and houserocking under the roof.
Victory Motel Sessions turns out 8 originals and 2 unquestionable covers, one of the great Wilko Johnson, and a version of the legendary garage rock purveyors The Troggs “I Can Only Give You Everything” that may damn well be better than the original (Sorry, Reg. Rest, peacefully). The laid back twangy soulful blues of “Take A Look” finds J IV’s lonesome growl an emotional mess at the breakdown, you can almost feel the love permeating through the speakers, ironically flipping to personal favorite, the grinding rock and roll and locomotive percussion attack of “War Dancers”, killer guitar work with faint tickles of organ interspersed, 3 minutes and 29 seconds of head bopping rock bliss. The sultry stoner blues of “Suzy’s Cookies” into the garage punk closer, “Blood River”, send you off in a whirlwind with a blues rock hangover, waiting for the next press of ‘play’ as a ‘hair of the dog’ remedy. Yet another impervious release from Alive Naturalsound Records, I dare you not to dig it. (+words by scott zuppardo+)