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Knoxville Girls | In a Paper Suit | review | rock | Lollipop

Knoxville Girls

In a Paper Suit (In the Red)
by Jon Sarre

Why would anyone wanna go around in a paper suit anyway? Knoxville Girls never get around to answerin' the question and they even do a song called "In a Paper Suit" where Barry London does this little cocktail piano thing and Bob Burt knocks back the beats like shots, but Jerry Teel never explains the thing about the paper suit, tho' by the tone of the lyrics, paper suits are a drag. Knoxville Girls are kind of a supergroup, tho' only if yer familiar with The Chrome Cranks, The Gun Club, Pussy Galore, and Boss Hog, but yer probably familiar with The Cramps and The Bad Seeds and Bob Burt played on one Sonic Youth record, and everyone seems to've heard of them.

As supergroups go, the Girls, who consist of Messers London (organ), Burt (drums), Teel (vox'n'guitar), Kid Congo Powers (guitar'n'vox) and Jack Martin (also guitar, they don't need no stinkin' bass) are pretty fuckin' bad ass. They mix up country, blues, fake Sergio Leone soundtrack-type stuff (see the first track, "Any Reason to Celebrate" kinda like the "Knoxville Girls Theme"), Stonesy grooves, their own histories - individual and shared - and whatever else they decide to throw in. Jerry sings about how he wants to drink outta anyone else's Loving Cup but yers, which is sorta like what the Stones also sang about 'cept Mick only wanted to drink outta yers. On another one, "That's Alright With Me," he chatters distorto vox like he's talkin' to ya long distance on a CB radio and Bob bangs on metal like he did when he was in Pussy Galore. They cover Hank Williams' "'Neath a Cold Gray Tomb of Stone" and make it sound like sumptin' offa John Prine's first LP, only with overamped guitar replacing overamped organ. They take a Hazil Adkins number and make it spooky'n'weird (instead of funny'n'weird) with this slide risin' outta the song's guts. Kid Congo does The Shangri-La's "Sophisticated Boom Boom" while the rest of the band eggs him on while they attempt to keep their faces and stories straight. Powers also mixes punctuation, changin' "Drop Dead Gorgeous" to "Drop Dead, Gorgeous" and throws in a Bowie quote and purloined from Richard Hell "woo woo"s (the same guy Stray Cats ripped theirs from). Pretty much everywhere else Knoxville Girls stomp the blues, goose up country towards rockabilly, make weird noises (all the other bands they've played in were all about that) and let London's organatronic tones sprawl all over the place like some singin' wino blockin' yer doorway. Yet this is a talented singin' wino, so ya let him be. Support the performing arts!
(PO Box 208 Burbank, CA 91506)

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