Black Hearts and Broken Wills (Touch & Go)
by Jon Sarre
Damn! We got some heavy meat ‘n’ potatoes rock ‘n’ roll here; this record’s on Touch and Go, after all. The thing is, usually yer typical mass-masters come in gangs of three to five. These Cash Money guys are only a fuckin’ duo! That’s right, two gentlemen, by the names of John Humphrey (ex-God and Texas, guitar-player) and Scott Giampino (drums and cookware), are responsible for a sound as big as the City of Broad Shoulders. The way things work here is Giampino’s drums clear the way like a pre-emptive artillery strike and then Humphrey mops up with his broken Gretsch Tennessean and Crypt Back From the Grave-style vocals. For all the Spartan layout, Cash Money’s pretty effective at makin’ the sound more than full. There are no spots here that’ll leave ya cold and they even kinda, er… swing at times (well, about as much as the Jesus Lizard, I guess). All’s pretty solid here, but the standouts on this Chi-Town scuzzblues exercise include the decidedly artless Clawhammeresque “True Blue,” the is-that-Johnny Cash-guesting? “Damn, Damn, Damn,” and last year’s foundation shakin’ like a bulldozer just hit you drinkin’ and raisin’ fuckin’ hell hit single, “Oil Can.” Also of note is “The River,” where Cash Money comes closest to straightforward blues and the harp and feedback closes around the song like black water. From the garage side, there’s “Death Note,” a too-short jaunt from Vegas to Hollywood in which our heroes quote scripture like good midwesterners, or something like that. Irresistible, like a trainwreck.
(PO Box 25520 Chicago, IL 60625)