The Defibulators – “Debt’ll Get ‘Em”
Before diving into the 2014 new releases, some particularly expected, it’s worth take a look back at 2013 just for the fact it actually was an extraordinary prolific year in terms of twang oriented music.
Not being an easy task to single out an album among so many awesome productions, the choice goes to a collection that from an inner roots core unfolds into different styles and directions, embracing in its 10 tunes a large part of the wide Americana spectrum.
Though it’s not common to hear about a country-related band from New York City, The Defibulators, already labelled as “Carter Family-meets-Ramones” (AMG) in their debut “Corn Money”, absolutely live up to the best expectations unleashing this “Debt’ll Get ‘Em”.
It’s a heap of excellently conceived and performed foot stomping, raucous, banjo-driven tracks that span roots rock, urban and punk alt-country in a brilliant set full of energy as well as an plenty of witty and tongue-in-cheek lyrics. To have an idea of the humorous approach that is a leading thread of the record, just listen to the funk of “Everybody’s Got a Banjo” with its line ““If you don’t know how to play it, well it still looks cool” or “Cackalacky” about a picker who moved to NYC in search of glory.
The opener “Holy Roller” is a powerful rockabilly and on the same electric ground the rowdy intrumental “Rumble Strip”, while the essentially country spirit of the band is well expressed in tunes like “Get Yer Papers” and “Hee-Haw in Heaven”.
Since the frontman Bug Jennings, who wrote most of the songs, and the other members are well aware they play their music in the realm of traditionalism, fiddles are often on the front burner as in the bluesy “Working Class” and in the sultry “Pay for That Money”, one of the stories about debt, the central theme that echoes the album title, and also present in the killer ballads “Real Slow” and “Let That Ponytail Run”.
Last but not least, it’s impossible not to mention the superb, haunting and evocating vocals of Erin Bru, who I wish I could have found in even more tracks, to enhance the originality of “Debt’ll Get ‘Em”.
To sum up, an album that might make fun of you but surely makes you have fun, so please don’t wait to check it out if you still haven’t.