Left Lane Cruiser – Beck In Black (2016)

Share this:

Perhaps more appropriately called Back with Beck, Beck In Black is a semi-compilation of select remastered cuts from Left Lane Cruiser’s first five releases with Alive Naturalsound Records plus a half dozen previously unreleased leftover tracks. As America’s top punk blues duo since their Alive 2008 debut Bring Yo’ Ass To The Table, Freddy J IV (guitar, vox) and Brenn ‘Sausage Paw’ Beck (drums, percussion) had reeled off an impressively consistent string of raw, raucous blues-rock albums through Rock Them Back To Hell! (2013), after which Beck left the group and was replaced by Pete Dio.

The collection pulls three tracks from Table (“G Bob”, Heavy” and “Amy’s In The Kitchen”), one from All You Can Eat!! (“Crackalacka”), a couple from Junkyard Speed Ball (“Circus”, “Hip Hop”), and one a piece from Rock Them Back To Hell! and the James Leg collab Painkillers (“Zombie Blocked”,”Chevrolet”). You looking for ballads? Tough shit. But there’s foot stompin’ heavy crunching blues by the bucket full.

Same goes for the five of the six, new-to-us tracks. Hoyt Axton’s “The Pusher” is as powerful as Steppenwolf’s and Freddy’s slide guitar lends it a blues-y soul. “Bloodhound” is a “Mississippi Queen” styled boogie. Beck begins “Sausage Paw” with a slippery beat then bashes away whenever Freddy unloads with his slide. The backwoods blues boogie “Chicken” with Freddy’s vocal in a full-throated growl is as good as any song they’ve ever recorded. The instrumental “Shine” ends the whole album acoustic guitars layered on top of each other.

As for that ‘ballad’: “Maybe” is the only tune where LLC gets tender but it’s far from smooth, and the presence of an organ suggests that it’s an outtake from Painkillers.

In this case, “outtakes” doesn’t equate to “fillers.” There’s some dope punk blues in here, recommended whether you’re new to Left Lane Cruiser or already a big fan. Beck In Black is a new place from where to get your Sausage Paw fix.


S. Victor Aaron

S. Victor Aaron

S. Victor Aaron is an SQL demon for a Fortune 100 company by day, music opinion-maker at night. His musings are strewn out across the interwebs on jazz.com, AllAboutJazz.com, a football discussion board and some inchoate customer reviews of records from the late 1990s on Amazon under a pseudonym that will never be revealed. E-mail him at [email protected] .com or follow him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/SVictorAaron
S. Victor Aaron
Share this:
Close