Churchwood – 2 (2013)

A tasty mixture of greasy blues rock, deranged intellect and mudhole-stomping Texas attitude, Churchwood once again illustrates what a post-punk Skip James might have sounded like had he gotten into the lysergic weirdness of 13th Floor Elevators.

Hard on the heels of 2011’s mind-bending self-titled release, 2 is in many ways an even more potent blast of post-punk roots rock — as co-founding guitarist Bill Anderson simply lashes the Beat-poet stream-of-consciousness lyrics of singer Joe Doerr.

From the Diddley-inspired growls of “Duende” to the squalling menace of “Weedeye,” from the trembling rockabilly of “Fake This One” to the trippy howls of “A Message from Firmin Desloge,” 2 (which sees vinyl release on April 19, 2013, via San Antonio’s Saustex Media) will take you on rugged journey through the Mississippi Delta and then on to deep space. Meanwhile, Doerr talks about salvation, about Orwellian nightmares, about cheaters and murderers and Mohammad’s mountain and an unknowable mystery woman named Aranzazu, and selling your dumbass some ocean front property in Arizona — all amid this flurry of furious sound.

And, somehow, Churchwood makes this pocket-flask full of intoxicating contradictions work — offering something as loud musically as it is contemplative lyrically, as raucous as it is interestingly constructed, utterly grounded and yet still completely out of the world.

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Nick DeRiso

Over a 30-year career, Nick DeRiso has also explored music for USA Today, All About Jazz, Ultimate Classic Rock and a host of others. Honored as columnist of the year five times by the Associated Press, Louisiana Press Association and Louisiana Sports Writers Association, he oversaw a daily section named Top 10 in the nation by the AP before co-founding Something Else! Contact him at nderiso@somethingelsereviews.com.