Daily Archives: April 15, 2009

94. The Asylum Street Spankers – “…present Spanker Madness”

Here’s another recent A purchase.

I purchased this CD from Bloodshot Records along with Ryan Adams’ and a few others. This is a band I’d been alerted to by a mate who I think saw them live in the States a few years back. I had an inkling they were of acoustic roots bent, which is certainly the case on this thematic release.

asylum-street-spankers-present-spanker-madness-album-coverThese guys sound like they stepped out of the mid-1920s. They play a mixture of blues, music hall and cajun, all on acoustic instruments (including washboard, ukulele, stand-up bass etc).

The 1920s bar they stepped out of on this album was clearly pretty smoke-filled. In essence, they’ve taken on a Cheech and Chong persona here, to deliver 15 tracks, all about marijuana consumption or other mind-altering substances.

Musically this is a hugely enjoyable listen. These guys deliver exuberant and engaging tunes. Lyrically it’s a bit of a snore, however. Songs about getting stoned just ain’t that interesting, and much of the imagery and ideas are pretty cliched. The one song about beer (called Beer(!)) is amusing, but wears thin on multuiple listens.

I’d recommend this album to teenage stoners, especially if it got them into these styles of music. And I will seek out other work from these guys.

File under: Stoner stuff