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Five Horse Johnson | Last Men on Earth | review | rock | Lollipop

Five Horse Johnson

The Last Men on Earth (Small Stone)
by Criag Regala

These guys play high-octane mid-speed boogie-the-blues-hard rock and roll. What keeps'm out of the "revival" circuit? Power of attack. The members all grew up in the Detroit/Toledo '80s hardcore and metal scenes and were weaned on pre-Carter-era ZZ Top/Aerosmith/Grand Funk. This means their structural prerogative is stripped of affectation and ennui whilst being built to hold a BIG house party. It means they get to the fucking point! Funny thing is, when "the point" is a humongous boogie groove, you just can't play real fast and yell a lot... Instead, you play real hard in the pocket. It takes restraint, tact, endurance, and focus to keep the boogie both hypnotic and moving. It also takes some tunes and a singer who phrases to emphasize the beat and provide hooks by cutting across the rhythm and dropping out to let the riffs speak to yonder hottie's ass. That's important. Music like this has to breath, expand/contract in a comfortably physical way. Like Howlin' Wolf said, "Baby, I'm built for comfort, not for speed." Hey, how many bands do you know that fit with Steppenwolf and The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion?
(PO Box 02007 Detroit, MI 48202)


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