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Midnight Soul Serenade

Heavy Trash

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Album Review

On their third album, 2009's Midnight Soul Serenade, Heavy Trash keep delivering the good old rock & roll, rockabilly, and hillbilly soul that their first two albums handed out like candy at a Fourth of July parade. Jon Spencer and Matt Verta-Ray hit their stride right away on their debut and continue to be nothing short of great. They make no great changes to their sound here; it's still loose as geese on the rockers and pleasantly spooky on the ballads. Spencer and Verta-Ray still conjure all kinds of unhinged noise from the guitars, yet remain firmly within the bounds of the songs. Best of all, Spencer fully embraces his role as greasy, rockabilly crooner with an unrestrained joy and fervor. His performance on their cover of LaVern Baker's "Bumble Bee" is guaranteed to bring smiles, his unhinged howls on "Bedevilment" bring back memories of Lux Interior, and he's never less than entertaining. The whole record is just a flat-out blast, with the duo gleefully raising all kinds of ruckus, blasting through swamp blues, noisy punk blues, cornpone balladry, and nocturnal jazz poetry, and even laying down a song that could have been a chart-topper back in 1959, the sweetly rollicking "Gee, I Really Love You." It may heretical to say it considering the backgrounds of the participants, but Heavy Trash could be the best project either man has been involved with. And while Midnight Soul Serenade may not be the best Heavy Trash album (their debut takes that honor), it's still some of the best rock & roll around. Anywhere, anytime.

Biography

Formed: 2005

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s

A meeting of the minds between two musicians who explore the nexus between punk rock and roots music, Heavy Trash is a collaboration between Jon Spencer and Matt Verta-Ray. Spencer first attracted the attention of adventurous music fans in 1985 with his primitive guitar work and raw vocals with frantic noise merchants Pussy Galore, but when the band split in 1990, he joined forces with guitarist Judah Bauer and drummer Russell Simins to form the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion. Melding R&B accents...
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Midnight Soul Serenade, Heavy Trash
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