It's been a long time since I popped in a CD that made me get up and dance like someone had poured battery acid down my pants. But the eponymous EP from Knoxville's Pink Sexies (which arrived courtesy of the good folks at Memphis' tastefully named Wrecked 'Em Records) did just that and then some. In fact, I'm still shaking like crazy over it. The first track, "Bye Bye Zombie (Baby)" is pure punkabilly, as ragged and raw as it is right on the money. But how could that have prepared me for the so-clever trash-rock confection "Do the Dance," which is designed for no other purpose than to make listeners convulse with glee? Songs like "Speed Demon," "Frankenhooker," and "Tease Kiss" all deliver the hot-rod raunch and graveyard glam that defines the sweaty, juke-joint sound of Southern garage punk. I could listen to Pink Sexies frontman P.S. Corvette howl "If you're going to kill me/Kill me with a kiss" all night long, and I just may when these guys roll into Murphy's on Saturday, August 9th, with Nashville's The Clutters and a noisy power duo from Kentucky called The Smacks.
The Clutters have that second-tier British-invasion sound. Imagine the Nashville Teens with a sense of humor and without all the blues pretensions and you'll get the notion. Their song "Back of My Mind" is like a slice of '60s psychedelia stripped down to only the rhythm tracks, while the goofy vocals on "Cup of Coffee and a Cigarette" are pure vaudeville. The Smacks, on the other hand, are just plain silly. They are alternately the best and the worst band in this lineup, with songs that range from the painfully noisy to the devilishly inspired. A little ode to insanity called "Locked in the Cellar" is the kind of lo-fi gem Dr. Demento would wet his pants over. Moving easily between rockabilly, incomprehensible punk, and ingeniously wrongheaded, lyric-driven madness, this duo can make you shake your head with despair and your ass with joy all at the same time. If you're a fan of that grinding Southern trash-rock sound, don't miss this show. -- Chris Davis
Champaign-Urbana's Absinthe Blind don't sound like what you'd expect an indie band from the Midwest to sound like. They're not alt-country, garage rock, or emo. Rather, they traffic in a big, bold, borderline-psychedelic sound that triangulates present-day prog-pop (Flaming Lips, with whom they share a producer), the shoe-gazing rock of a decade ago, and the kind of vanilla '80s Top 40 synth-pop the band probably wouldn't claim. But it's an interesting mix and something you don't hear much in Midtown clubs. They'll be joined at the Hi-Tone CafÇ Wednesday, August 13th, by another band doing its own thing, like-minded locals Dora.
Also at the Hi-Tone this week, and at the opposite end of the sonic spectrum, is roots-music singer-songwriter Bruce Robison, brother-in-law of Dixie Chick Emily Robison and author of that band's recent hit "Travelin' Soldier." Local singer-songwriter Dan Montgomery will open. n -- Chris Herrington