By Team Backbeat
By Amber Taufen
By Jon Solomon
By Tom Murphy
By Jesse Livingston
By Alejandra Loera
By Stephanie March
By Tom Murphy
As Beasts of Burden's title implies, Workhorse, which joins Front-side Five and Pitch Invasion at the Bluebird Theater on Friday, November 30, is no pretty filly. Rather, it's an animal willing to do the heavy lifting — emphasis on "heavy."
"Moonshine Mayhem," the first track, opens with modified calliope music that's a mere prelude to the guitars of Randy Olinger and Jay Ditchen, which chug, rumble and shriek with throwback authority; it's less a song than a collection of riffs that rhythm-section mates Ross Miller and Mitch Young manage to stitch together. That's followed by "Worn Out City," a brontosaurus beater overlain with Olinger's yowls, the punishingly deliberate "Right Arm of Lightning," and "Revenge of the Whistle Pig," a stoner-rock take on Southern boogie. Sooo-eeee.
No, there's nothing particularly innovative here — not even the pace-changing lament "Ghost in the Clouds." But rather than simply trot out familiar licks, the men of Workhorse ride them hard and put them away wet.
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