The Boston Sherwood Tapes (Underdogma/Game Two/Slow Ride)
by Brian Varney
Two songs each by these bands. Roadsaw are (were, actually: RIP) one of the finest rock bands in the U.S. (skeptics are directed to last year’s amazing, but barely released Rawk’n’Roll); Blackrock are from England and this is my first exposure to them.
It’s kinda tough to get a feeling of what a band’s capable of from two songs, so those interested in either band should be advised to start elsewhere. Roadsaw’s songs, an original called “Busted Monk” and a completely uncharacteristic Pixies cover, “Where Is My Mind?,” offer an utterly baffling combination. If I was not already familiar with the band, I’d walk away from this CD knowing no more about them. As a fan of the band, though, I’m glad to have these songs. “Busted Monk” is a slow, groovy bruiser that sounds like it would’ve been at home on Rawk’n’Roll, and that’s some pretty lofty praise in these parts. And even though I’ve never been a Pixies fan, their cover of “Where Is My Mind?” has kinda grown on me. There are better songs in the Roadsaw catalog (“Satellite,” one of the finest songs of the ’90s, springs immediately to mind), but there are certainly worse ways to spend your time and money.
As I said, I know nothing of Blackrock. The band’s punk rock edge is nicely complemented by the lo-fi recording (which sits in stark contrast to the warm, sumptuous production of the Roadsaw material), but, as with the Roadsaw portion, the two tracks present a slightly baffling portrayal of the band. The first song, “Loserfuel,” presents a band heavily influenced by first-wave punk rock and ’70s metal, while the second, a cover of Brian Auger’s “Indian Ropeman,” sounds like a bizarre cross-breeding of Steppenwolf and early Chicago (minus the horns). Weird? Hell yes. Compelling? Well… not really sure. But worth an investigation.
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