But it’s not always easy to translate a band’s live performance to tape. Lucky for true disciples of rock ‘n’ roll, there is Who Can You Trust? Records. The good people at this label have somehow tapped into a vein of rich analog ore. These recordings yield music captured with the intimate and immediate presence of going out to experience a memorable live performance.
The new Ragged Barracudas 12” vinyl split LP with Pushy is a prime example of this lightning-in-a-bottle effect. Listening to the ‘Cudas’ sinister cave dweller’s dirge “Burning” feels like you’re a few feet away from the stage they’re playing on. Similarly, when the slow-burning “Tables Turn” begins to heat up like an old vacuum tube, there’s a palpable sensation that a longhaired trio of punks from Cleveland, Ohio have arrived from the late ‘70s to rehearse in your living room. You’ve never heard a wah pedal sound this threatening before.
The city of Portland, Oregon should award Pushy for bringing boogie back. This is the kind of boogie that sticks to your denim flares like hot oil leaking from a ’59 Panhead engine. In a realm where riff-rock has painted itself into a darkened corner of pentatonic predictability, Pushy dare to swing and strut like half their musical DNA is the result from being the illegitimate sons of Billy Gibbons and Peter Green. The other half of their stylistic compound sounds rooted in a lifestyle where slugging iced cans of Schlitz from a faded red cooler while trolling for rainbow trout is the base foundation of a good day. Diming the volume on “Salem Man” through some big wooden speakers is almost as good as going out to see this timeless and talented quartet of hard and heavy boogie-rock lifers.
Drop the needle, turn up the volume and bring the outside inside."
-Eric Shea (Hot Lunch)