Drunk As Dragons (Alternative Tentacles)
By Craig Regala
Digging deep into old timey roots music from a hundred or so years ago and building it up from there, Woodbox Gang add stuff that makes sense from that stance. They roll into town like stripped-to-the-gears county shot thru with winsome death folk, moonshine, and a couple dogs. You might think it’s yesterday’s music and of historical interest, but these guys write about today’s stuff, (c’mon, desire’s the same, the tattoos are more common, and the drugs more vicious, I suppose, but you really think yer great grandparents had it different?), and don’t pretend the modern world is any great shakes. Woodbox Gang is smart enough to know things haven’t changed much after you scrape off the electronic junk and link up with other folk’s music that’s seeped out of the pores of working drunkards, stoners, and pillheads just trying to make it through the day and have some sorta life, century in and century out.
By definition, this stuff is songful and they got’m: Stories about what’s going on around’mm the Ole Yeller-style weeper of “Dusty, Dozer, and Grandpa,” the droll “I Never Kissed A Girl,” and the upbeat Johnny Cash of “Better Place To Die.” The ode to Family Values, the upbeat “Family Night,” shines a dirty light on ye olde small town life, kinda like the awesome Nine Pound Hammer’s “Hayseed Cowboy” junked up with Warren Zevon’s “Play It All Night Long.” The family that makes meth together, uh, well, makes meth together! During the hoopla of early ’80s punk rock, I often hung out with kick-ass make yer own wine, fix yer own truck, grow yer own dope Deadheads who listened to stuff like this. Good folks. This is the kinda thing that holds the long lost DNA from the fantastic ’80’s drug-folk, Velvets-on-country, country-on-Fugs-fueled Okra Records label.
Whence they be? They be with The Old Crow Medicine Show, The Bass Holes, a jug band version of “Truckin'” and the Flashbacks, Vol. 1 High and Low Drug Songs comp. Which rolls out the stuff about the stuff between World War I and The Big One (WWII).