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Southern Culture on the Skids
MOJO BOX
(Yep Roc)
Stars graphics

These trailer-park rockers from North Carolina have been distilling a sour mash of punk rock and country music flavored with greasy riffs and surf-guitar licks for 17 years now. And their enthusiasm for sex, alcohol, hot rods, and reverb remains unabated. Which makes "Doublewide," an ode to dropping out and moving to the woods to drink beer, a kind of manifesto propelled by Dave Hartmanís "Wipe Out" drumming and creaky Farfisa lines. Guitarist Rick Miller makes like a mix of Dick Dale, Duane Eddy, and Chuck Berry on "I Want a Love," sliding down his low strings as he twangs and bends. But what really stands out are the vocal melodies, which lead to payoffs like the harmonizing choruses and bridge on "Soulful Garage" and the raunched-up "Swamp Fox," an ode to summer ó and to sleazy Southern belles. Sure, the Skidders camp it up a lot, but when bassist Mary Huff wraps her warm voice around the lyrics of "Fire of Love," she taps a vein of yearning. And their instrumental "The Wet Spot" has the same romantic panache and mysterious soul as Daleís classic "Miserlou."

BY TED DROZDOWSKI


Issue Date: February 6 - 12, 2004
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