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Tonite... The Singles Bar

Gallon Drunk

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Album Review

One thing that can't be said about Gallon Drunk is that they're easy to listen to — far from it. The sound the band produces verges on coherency at times, but without enough of a focus to actually slap a definition on it. Tom Waits, the Pogues, the Sex Pistols, a hundred surf bands, the Birthday Party, the Troggs, the Stranglers, and a half-dozen drunk Irish poets — Gallon Drunk have elements of all the above, with the result that the sound veers from repulsive to crazily attractive in a very primitive way. Giving this collection of their single releases more than a fighting chance is worth the work, though. While tracks like "Snakepit," hailing from their early days, are raw and obnoxious, there are also serious surprises and eye-openers to be had — Gallon Drunk's version of "Miserlou" is a slow, dark pulse that makes it the high point of the album. This is wild-eyed primitive rock & roll in no uncertain terms, the sort of thing that can easily make the average listener uncomfortable. Consequently, it's definitely worth checking out. There aren't too many bands as seriously deranged as this one. [The 2007 remastered reissue adds a previously unreleased live set recorded in Chicago on July 1st, 1993.]

Biography

Formed: 1990 in London, England

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Often compared to dark and brooding sounds of such artists as Tom Waits, Nick Cave, PJ Harvey, and Morphine, the London quartet Gallon Drunk originally formed in 1990, consisting of members James Johnston (vocals, guitar, organ), Mike Delanian (bass), Max Decharne (drums, also keyboard player with the Earls of Suave), and Joe Byfield (maracas). Shortly after their formation, the quartet began issuing singles on their own label (Massive), most of which reached the top of the independent charts and...
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Tonite... The Singles Bar, Gallon Drunk
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