Sons Of Lee Marvin : Cutthroats And Conjurers
This album is a schizophrenic entity of sorts. But unlike its human counterparts, the multiple personalities of Cutthroats And Conjurers fare on the likable side. No eye-darting to look for the exits when a new personality shows its face, the songs on the album may at times be vastly different from each other but none so in a detestable way.
Cutthroats And Conjurers starts on a deceptively dark trajectory with Spanish-inspired Entrennados Por Amor driven by bittersweet arrangements and a sinister jealous-eyed protagonist. Time & Again lurches forward next with a drunken Tom Waits swagger, but from there the mood of the album takes a step out of the shadows towards more sun-filled pastures with an emphasis on melody and hooks. Nobody’s Fault has a mid-‘90s indie-rock feel to it, made noticeable by its palm muted down stroke verse, while Foot Is Coming Down (and subsequently the majority of the middle of the album) has a Rocket From The Crypt buzz about it. It’s high-energy rock‘n’roll with a serious pop injection, with singer Ted Zeppelins vocals quite often matching Johns Reis's wit and personality. Now You’ve Won moves away from the party and out to the porch with slide and acoustic strumming giving the song a self-reflective and melancholic character. Pound Of Flesh brings some life back to Cutthroats And Conjurers, channeling ‘70s Datsuns style rock‘n’roll, and easily feels like single material. Country leanings take over again for No Sad Goodbyes and Grey Street Bluegrass disrupting the flow of the album somewhat and causing it to feel a little disjointed. The genre hopping continues as Jockey Full Of Damnation harks back to earlier track Time & Again with its dirty back alley polka-blues, delivered with fervent verve.
Cutthroats And Conjurers finishes up on a high with Already Got The Rock, one-liners delivered with impressive alliteration abound from main man Ted Zeppelin. Packed full of gems spanning the entire spectrum of the genre, Cutthroats And Conjurers is a highly enjoyable album, if only a little unsure of its identity.
BY KRYSTAL MAYNARD
Best Track: Pound Of Flesh
If You Like These, You'll Like This: RFTC, SUPERSUCKERS, REVEREND HORTON HEAT
In A Word: Varied