REVIEW: LEFT LANE CRUISER: Dirty Spliff Blues (2015)


Glorious, un-PC fuzzed up blues from Indiana

You could, perhaps, if you were so inclined argue that it betrays a distinct lack of subtlety. But then, you don’t always have to beat around the bush to get where you are going.

So it is that Left Lane Cruiser have decided that studio record number eight should tell you exactly what it’s going to do even before you stick the thing on. If you call an album “Dirty Spliff Blues” then you don’t need to be Lester Bangs to know what it’s going to sound like.

The fact is, “Dirty Spliff Blues” does exactly what you think it’s going to – and it’s wonderful.

It’s fuzzy, it’s bluesy, it’s stoner rock, it’s got a groove to kill for, but it’s better than that. What makes this a very special record is that if Lemmy from Motörhead played Blues he’d do it like this. It’s gloriously nasty. For example,there’s a song here called “Heavy Honey” about halfway through. During the course of its lyrics singer Freddie J IV discusses that “Swiss Chocolate gots you tugging on my pants” and a little later he explains he loves “your delicious big booty” and pleads: “please let my lovin’ in,” you would feel sorry for the lady concerned if the song wasn’t quite so wonderful.

There’s also a rather curious take on how we could end war too. On the slamming “All Damn Day” – which boasts a riff that would have Neil Fallon purring, there’s the rather superb thought that “damn your booty’s so fine, it’d bring peace to the Middle East.” It might be worth a go…..?

When it’s not discussing rear ends at length, “Dirty Spliff Blues” concerns itself with drugs, as on its title track (no shock there) and being one of the best straight up rock n roll records of 2015 so far. “Elephant Stomp” is primal blues personified, so is “Whitbread And Beans” and “Tangled Up In Bush” (which probably isn’t about gardening) not only has the best song title in ages but a groove to match, and if you want to “smoke napalm with a Bamboo skin” then Freddie can help you out as Pete Dent adds some fine slide guitar.

This slide work reaches a peak on “Skateboard Blues” which is a real high point for a record that closes with perhaps its most serious song. “She Don’t Care” begins with a guitar solo and builds from there, before ending with a tumultuous romp.

“Dirty Spliff Blues” isn’t reinventing any wheels, but so what? It’s a almost total all-encompassing trawl through some dark side of a party that never seems to end, all of which happens over the sort of retro blues stomp which is somewhere between Seasick Steve, The White Stripes and Kyuss, is nothing short of magnificent.

Most probably you wouldn’t want them as your neighbours, but if Left Lane Cruiser invite you to their barbecue the invitation might well be worth taking up – you’d see some sights, that’s for damn sure and you’d probably need a shower after.

This is fabulously tasty filth.

Rating 9.5/10

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