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Album Review

T. Tex Edwards plays a sort of muted, grungy cowpunk psychobilly on Up Against the Floor. Though there are plenty of influences from hillbilly, rockabilly, Tex-Mex, and punk in the mix, it's not as avowedly strange and wild as much such stuff in this genre. It's eccentric, but not quite novelty fare. It's got a love for trashy lowlife, but it's not too in-your-face about it. Because it's not either overtly humorous or all that serious, it inhabits a somewhat uncomfortable fence between those mindsets. This kind of material usually lends itself to at least some outrageousness in the vocal department, but Edwards' vocals are too tentative and mumbly to make the most of that potential. His love of the source music for his brand of twisted roots rock is evident in the varied and sometimes surprising classics he selects to cover, including Wanda Jackson's "Funnel of Love," Conway Twitty's "Lonely Blue Boy," Floyd Cramer's "Last Date," and David Bowie's "Black Country Rock," but they also have the effect of reminding us how superior the originals were. So what you end up with is a marginal record in a genre that's itself of marginal interest even to the indie-minded rock community.

Up Against the Floor, T. Tex Edwards & The Swingin' Kornflake Killers
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