RAMBLIN' MAN - Zeno Tornado & The Boney Google Brothers (Voodoo Rhythm)
Somewhere around here, I still have the CD booklet for this album. Amidst the empty wine and beer bottles, the discs that've lost their boxes, the crime fiction paperbacks and motorbike magazines, that cd booklet is around here somewhere.
I'd really like to find it, this record is great! At the moment, I don't even know the band name or album title, 'cos that info is on the disc, which is locked inside the disc machine, and I'm enjoying listening to it far too much. Every 40 minutes, or whatever, it ends and I hit "play" again. Then I think, "shit, should've checked the disc for the band name, ah, what the fuck, I'll check it next time".
Yet I don't. I just keep digging it. It's a bluegrass country and western record, fuck, you might even say it's a "concept album". I've never heard an album that is so brilliantly focussed on drinking. Oh sure, you get yr dumbarse hardcore punk records with their "drinking is so cool" bullschtick, but this record really does capture that beautiful ambiguity.
I love to drink. I hate drunkenness. And all those hazy thoughts that drift in and out of that ill-defined space between those two poles, you find it all on this record. I'd love to quote some of the lyrics on this record, they're truly fucking great. But the lyric sheet is… no, it aint under the plastic bag of cutlery – and why the fuck do I have a plastic bag of cutlery beneath my chipboard puta desk? – it ain't nowhere to be found on the coffee table covered in CDs and press releases – wow, I got that CD to review? And that one too? Fuck, no wonder the Barman doesn't reply to my emails.
Trust me on this one folks, if you dig great songs, great singing and playing, if you got an open mind, you’ll dig this record. It's a true classic. Of course, if you’re one of those narrow minded fuckwits that just sits back and says "Ooohh, I don’t like fiddles and mandolins, they don’t rock" then you better hope you never meet me. Yeah, there was a time when I didn't get horns and string sections, but that was a long fucking time ago. It ain't about electric guitars versus banjos, it’s all attitude and this record has attitude. It has a depth and intelligence I've rarely heard and it hits this hard drinking heart with a platinum bullet of truth and honesty. - Earl O'Neill
LOVER OF YOUR DREAMS - Zeno Tornado and The Boney Google Brothers (Voodoo Rhythm)
With "Lover of your dreams", Zeno Tornado and The Boney Google Brothers follow up their impressive debut CDLP, by continuing to prove they are arguably one of (if not) the most underrated modern honky tonky country groups around today.
It's probably due in part to their European roots and the fact that the band has not been able to tour the southern states of the USA that they'r enot betetr-known. It's in the US where Zeno Tornado should develop a keen following, given his take on the genre.
"Lover of Your Dreams" features 14 tracks and for fans of the likes of Wayne 'The Train' Hancock and Hank III, songs like "Out of Control", "Home Sweet Home", "Party", "Riding" and "Broken Wings" should find immediate favour. The band is in killer form throughout.
On their debut CD, Zeno explored mostly personal lyrical content and this continues here in "Don't You Fall in Love With Me", "Misery" and "Shame" (featuring guest vocalist Cheesy Weaver) the best examples.
"Lover of Your Dreams" is a solid follow-up effort from Zeno Tornado and The Boney Google Brothers and builds on the unique position of the band in underground European music.- Simon Li
DIRTY DOPE INFECTED BLUE GRASS HILLBILLY HOBO XXX COUNTRY MUSIC - Zeno Tornado and The Boney Google Brothers (Voodoo Rhythm)
Switzerland has hardly ever been known as a mecca for country music, especially the distinctly traditional 'old timey' American country music delivered by Zeno Tornado and The Boney Google Brothers.
Vocalist-guitarist Zeno Tornado is backed up by The Boney Google Brothers: Satch Google (banjo, mandolin, lap steel), Manic Google (fiddle) and Magot Google (stand-up bass), as well guests Swan Lee (drums) and Isabelle Hell (vocals). The CD opens with the up tempo 'High' a tale of marijuana use (and abuse) from an early age, and features a stand-up bass solo from Magot Google.
"City Lights" is another early highlight with ear-catching mandolin from Satch Google, followed by some fine fiddle work from Manic Google. "Blah Blah Baby" features Zeno Tornado in a duet with Isabelle Hell as Zeno bemoans a nagging, tiresome partner whom turns him off marital sex.
"Liver Lover" continues in an up-tempo vein as Zeno Tornado discusses his abuse of alcohol and its effect on his liver, as the band pay a musical tribute in part to the Carl Perkins-penned classic "Blue Suede Shoes".
The only non-original tune on the CDLP is 'Highwayman' previously recorded by The Highwaymen featuring Johnny Cash (RIP), Waylon Jennings (RIP), Kris Kristofferson and Willie Nelson and written by Jimmy Webb (writer of Glen Campbell classics "Wichita Lineman" and "By the Time I Het to Phoenix"). It features the guest guitarist (and producer) Olifer M. Guz, with the standard Zeno Tornado hillbilly sound - a far cry from the version by The Highwaymen.
"Live's a Pissing Against the Wind" has to be the best song title of 2003, as Zeno tells us about life becoming a massive pain up the behind, in the band's usual rollicking, up-tempo fashion. "Family Man" must have the best first line in any song of 2003, as Zeno tells us this time of his dad, and his career as an adult movie star.
"Vanbang" appears to be taken from a radio appearance, with its faux guest radio DJ introduction for Zeno and the band, as he is yet again joined by Isabelle Hell as Zeno sings about down-and-dirty sex activities. "Rebel" closes the album, with Zeno taking a moment to deliver a song on his own.
For fans of The Supersuckers "Must have been High / Live", Ween's "12 Golden Country Greats" and Earl Lee Grace's (the side project of legendary singer of The Dwarve's Blag Dahlia) "Blackgrass", "Dirty Dope Infected Blue Grass Hillbilly Hobo XXX Country Music", fits right in with its sex, violence, drinking and drug abuse and is the most killer "roots" music release of 2003.
Definitely for scumbags and not for kids. - Simon Li
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