Somewhere in Denver there's a backyard barbecue pit full of steak drippings, cigarette butts, smashed beer bottles and a couple decades' worth of kerosene-soaked charcoal. From those rancid, grimy ashes rose Heeler. The band's second CD, Release the Snake!, is a meaty slab of rock and roll that tastes as well-done as it smells; from the stoned heaviness of "Too High to Rock" to the shit-kicking hoedown of "Live Forever," Release locks its jaws — and singer J. Woo's Danzig-like growl — around a well-chewed bone of sludge, snarl, spit and even a savory little shred of country twang. Accordingly, the disc's cover song, a faithfully foaming-at-the-mouth version of Black Flag's "Nervous Breakdown," is pure punk-rock comfort food — that is to say, a nice, charred rack of broken ribs with a sauce of booze and attitude.


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