Archive for Friday, November 19, 2004

Filthy Jim takes ‘Ride with Death’

November 19, 2004


Lawrence's answer to the Scandinavian rock revival led by The Hellacopters and Turbonegro is Filthy Jim, a four-piece of hipster headbangers whose unrelenting live shows leave audiences feeling exactly like the band's dirty moniker (slang for a used condom).

"Ride with Death" is the band's second full-length album ("Whiskey and Porn" hit shelves in 2001). Though it only offers eight songs, the album's 33 minutes of Motorhead and Mudhoney-inspired mayhem is more than enough to satiate the listener's appetite for destruction.

Like Black Sabbath, Filthy Jim's songs often seem to be composed in segments and then mercilessly packaged as six-minute epics. The opening track "Ride with Death" begins as a slow, sludgy Melvins-esque dirge before shifting gears into hard-riffing metal for the final three minutes. "Goat Strain" revisits this contrast between tractor-pull and drag-race tempos.

"Ride with Death" blends straight into the album's second (and best) song: "Tied to the Needle" ("Tied to the needle / Stick it your arm and burn yourself to hell. ... Like a bullet / Straight to your head yeah"). Twin lead guitars and vein-popping vocals propel this track's arm-pumping pulse.

Everything about the record is excessive -- the guitar solos are self-indulgent and the upper-octave vocals border on self-parody. But as anyone who has seen the group's decency-wrecking live shows can attest, that's the whole point. And if it worked for all of the bands mentioned above, there's no reason it can't for Filthy Jim.

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