Woozy Viper – Woozy Viper
Woozy Viper is what you would call a palate-cleanser. Kansas-born and bred brothers Luke and Mitch Meseke recorded a lo-fi 12 song debut, put it up for free download with nothing but some seriously simple album art. It is an album of back-to-basics rock and roll songs, two scruffy vocalists, and tin can percussion. They sing songs about paying the rent, about wanting nice cars, and girls. They’re the kind of rough and twangy songs that hearken back to a simpler time before “indie rock” was nearly synonymous with a heavy use of synthesizers (not that that’s a bad thing). The songs are stylish and classic without seeming overly referential. For every song that overtly sounds like The Beatles or Johnny Cash, there are hints of Kurt Cobain’s anguished drawl (on “The Switchblade Swing”) or Sublime’s plucky ska baselines (like “Dirty Rat”). They’re a little bit country, a little Rolling Stones, and all-around enjoyable.
Sounds Like: The Kings of Leon not taking themselves so seriously. Also the song “One of These Days” really, really sounds like Spinal Tap’s “Gimme Some Money”.
Listen To: Speaking in Tongues, Woah Baby
Kidd Russell – The Dash
Kidd Russell’s debut EP The Dash is a little confusing. It is predominantly of the hip hop persuasion, and certainly sprinkled with influences of hard rock (Korn, Slipknot maybe) and a little reggae. While the lyrics are earnest, the vocals certainly aren’t great (a little flat) and the beats leave much to be desired. Each song seems to stand on its own, to cater to its own agenda rather than work together to create a cohesive sound. The EP’s self-proclaimed star is “Dear Shooter,” an emotional outcry against gun violence that calls to mind Eminem’s haunting track “Stan,” but it lacks a memorable hook and the raw emotion that made that song so important. A different, more rock-influenced track is “Rush (Rock Remix)” which is apparently hd.net theme song for Ring of Honor wrestling. It sounds a little like Kid Rock, and brought back all fondest memories I have of Limp Bizkit (of which there are very few). While it’s clear that Kidd Russell has diverse interests, and enthusiastically includes them in his music, The Dash still feels a little rough and disorganized.
Sounds Like: A college football player turned musician (hint: that’s what it is).
Listen To: Rush (Rock Remix), Dear Shooter