First Appeared in The Music Box, June 2005, Volume 12, #6
Written by John Metzger
Given its name and its participants, one quite understandably might expect the self-titled debut from Heavy Trash — a union of Blues Explosion’s Jon Spencer and Speedball Baby’s Matt Verta-Ray — to be a bombastic blitzkrieg of punk-imbued, metallic thunder. That, however, would be an inaccurate assumption. While the ensuing 13 tracks on the collection most certainly pack a punch, the album finds the duo peeling back the layers of their trademark styles in order to crawl through the cracks of time and hold court with their early influences. Granted, there are occasional touches of pedal steel, Wurlitzer, harmonica, and organ that add texture to the material, but at its core, the songs are simple drum-, bass-, and guitar-bred ditties. Indeed, Spencer and Verta-Ray essentially utilize the raunchy R&B of Andre Williams to link the ’50s rockabilly of Elvis Presley, Gene Vincent, and Eddie Cochran with the thrashing, garage-rock of ’60s groups like Them, The Troggs, and The Pretty Things. Overcoming its lack of inventiveness with the sheer exuberance of its delivery, Heavy Trash offers a boozy blast of gritty mayhem that results in a fun-filled side project that fares better than most.
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1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!
Copyright © 2005 The Music Box