PORT FOLIO WEEKLY

April 15, 2008.

MUSIC >> RECORDINGS  *** 1/2

Box Car Satan & Ghostwriter
Hobo Nouveau
(End Of The West)

Who: Talents from Texas trio and Oregon one-man band.

Sounds Like: The place where blues go to break.

Is it any good? This 13-track release is steeped  deep in the blues, Americana, and punk rock for good measure. Its opener, "Dead  Man's Hand," includes angry vocals that nod toward a combo of Les Claypool from Primus and a hardened, Delta blues guy. "People" is a catchy number, with the screaming chorus: "People! I want to hit them where it hurts." The singer from Midnight Oil seemingly joins on "Disarray," a moonshine-fueled rant that builds at lyrics that don't seem angry in context, but sure sound it. The wisdom of  "Serve Somebody" comes out in the lyrics, "You gotta serve somebody/It might be the devil or it might be God, " while "Jesus Christ" relays, "Jesus was a man a carpenter by hand." The banjo-picking on "Circus" gives it the eerie feel of a cheapened sideshow and the slow country of "Dark as a Dungeon" almost sounds a bit Pogues-ish.

                                                                                                                                        -Andrea Rizzo

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