October 8, 2009

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Elliott Brood, Mountain Meadows
Six Shooter Records, Oct. 6

I vaguely recall EB’s 2005 album Ambassador and thinking that it was almost — OK, not really near — what I wanted to hear in relation to its hype: some banjoes; a scratchy-throated, somewhat generic chick-magnet singer; a few nods to antebellum Americana. Chimps can do this. What I wanted to hear in my wildest dreams was this album, almost to a note, a greasy, uncompromising, sexy, grunge-aware, Southern-fried slam-dunk rockout. Half this stuff had to be written after the guys escaped some horrible Broken Social Scene marathon foisted on them by their girlfriends – there’s a sense of vengeance served McDonalds-coffee-hot that transcends the record’s conceptual subject matter, the 1857 massacre in Utah’s Mountain Meadows Territory of 120 emigrants at the hands of the Mormon militia. The stompy banjo that carries the first half of “T-Bill,” for instance, could turn Angus Young green for its raw ass-kickage, and all of a sudden you’re in the middle of a Jane’s Addiction hurricane. But it gets better, a lot better, plenty of songs finding grungy, hard-rock grooves and stubbornly shoving them in your ear until the guys, who obviously don’t care what you think, tire of them. Whatever, we’ll talk more about this during the “Best Albums of 2009” thingamajig. A+ Eric W. Saeger