Golden Pelicans – “Oldest Ride, Longest Line”

a2015927305_10Golden Pelicans are:

Erik, the lead singer whose gravel-voice sounds like he swallowed a cement truck

Rich, the drummer, who is relentless and precise, and the backbone of the propulsive driving rhythms

Sammy, who hits the bass notes like a flurry of punches

and Scott, whose guitar licks are the equivalent of turbulence at sea during hurricane season.

“Oldest Ride, Longest Line” is their second LP, and they have evolved into their tightest, more complex incarnation yet. Their first self-titled album, and their singles, flaunted their innate ability to create garage punk anthems, with a party hard rock edge (“Hard Head”, “New Jersey”). This time around, they elevated their contribution to Smithsonian standards, and created a document of American excellency in music.

Their sound has expanded, allowing for a feeling of epic proportions stadium-status rock. Whereas, Sammy’s basslines were faster and playful before,  they now subtly enter songs just enough to trigger the necessary amount of tremors. You don’t quite hear him, as much as you feel him.

On the other hand, Scott, is in a spiritual trance, launching into riffs that give visions of barren landscapes and mountains. “Hog Tied Down” followed by “Eaten Alive” sizzle with urgency. He plays like his guitar is on fire, while the house is on fire, but he can’t stop it.

But their crowning achievement this time around, is Erik’s storytelling ability. Forget Tom Waits, forget Elvis Costello, forget any other so-called writer/performers. Erik is new blood, and the tales he spins are pure pulp. Half of the songs are about convicts, or escaped convicts (“Wild Child & The Blue Blazers”, “Hog Tied Down”). The other half are about characters who carry residual rage, because of their fucked up living circumstances (“Black Mold”, “Last Street Fighter”). “Maggots” is uncomfortably precise in its description of rotting from the inside.

“Knuckle Dragger” is a tale about the prehistoric birth of a human being, as an universal event of inevitable damage and destruction.

Not only does this album sound very good, with insidious melodies slithering in and out of the songs, and a steady dedicated rumble making everything tremble, it also tells awesome stories of criminals, outlaws, convicts, and other American types from the other side of the tracks.

Order from the band in MP3 format: “Oldest Ride, Longest Line”

Buy the 12″ vinyl record when it is repressed: Florida’s Dying Record Store

View the lyrics: 20150718_153237

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