I recently received a hilarious email from country-folk-punk outfit Herman Gauche. The message simply said, "Make out with me." Now, normally, I would ignore such a desperate and needy cry for attention. In this case, however, the band had already come highly recommended, so I popped over to MySpace for a listen. As the first bars of "Shitfaced in Love" began to pour through my computer speakers, I was simultaneously delighted and disgusted. The outfit's indiscriminate, sloppy blend of country, Southern rock, freak folk and whiskey is definitely not for everyone. On the other hand, that makes it all the more gratifying when the mess really works.
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Certainly, Herman Gauche pays homage to seminal Denver bands like 16 Horsepower and Slim Cessna's Auto Club, but there's also a bit of unhinged madness that reminds me of Pee Pee. At this point, I honestly can't say whether I like it or not. A live performance would probably help me make up my mind, but, unfortunately, I just missed seeing the ensemble perform at the Larimer Lounge, and it doesn't look any future live dates are scheduled. If you want to figure out whether you like these freaky folkers, Herman Gauche has generously posted ten songs for download on its website. Download and decide for yourself.