Who knows what kind of chromosome damage the black-lunged ancestors of Lou Poster passed down to him? The singer/guitarist of Ohio's Grafton is a native son of West Virginia, in whose hills dwelled four generations of coal-mining Posters. And his band's racket -- a tonsil-shot punk mired in brews and the blues -- is as sludgy, black and shit-slick as oil shale. Majesty Shakes, the trio's vicious new EP, follows up 2003's equally unforgiving full-length, Blind Horse Campaign. There's no denying the influence of Mudhoney and Laughing Hyenas, not to mention such lauded fellow Buckeyes as the Gibson Brothers and Bassholes. But Grafton exhumes its filth-smeared soul with a force and ferocity that damn near outstrips its forebears. Recently back from a European tour that no doubt helped solidify the stereotype of the ugly American, Poster and crew are back to hack up hillbilly noise and bleary-eyed belligerence all over the homeland. Mutant blues never felt so good.
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