Workdogs
(Copyright © 1999 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions - Termini d'uso )
Roberta , 6.5/10
In Hell , 6/10
Old , 5/10
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Workdogs are a duo from New York (singer and bassist Rob Kennedy and drummer Scott Jarvis) that plays primitive and amateurish rock'n'roll, halfway between Half Japanese, Cramps and Pussy Galore. They collaborated with the Gibson Brothers.

The "songs" of Roberta (Okra, 1988 - Sympathy, 1994) were maniacally improvised. The title-track, a 16-minute blues juggernaut, is sung in a tone that is both sarcastic and childish. It is, mainly, a spectacular crescendo: the tempo accelerates from slow blues to fast boogie to country shuffle to rollicking ragtime to chaotic rhythm'n'blues with horns to Cramps-ian rockabilly. The shorter tracks compose a demented reconstruction of music from the past, whether the ponderous saloon blues of Jane Gone, the swinging big-band jazz of Rob K's Money Crazy Boogie, the feverish jump blues of A Woman Is More Than A Box We Come In. The album is unique if not impossible.

In Hell (Sympathy, 1993), a "blues opera" that boasts co-conspirators such as Foetus, Lydia Lunch, Moe Tucker and Jad Fair, focuses on moral decadence, each "song" being dedicated to a story of depravation. Except for the frantic and discordant hardcore attack of Little Boys With Big Guitars all the tracks are spoken-word pieces. The longest ones are the least musical: the nine-minute free-form space noise of Death Of The Workdogs, and the loose aggregate of sonic events that punctuates the nightmare of The House That Drugs Built. * sounds like Mars accompanying Charles Bukowsky. The rest is only mildly more listenable.

A crowd of new-wave veterans (Jon Spencer of Pussy Galore, Jerry Teel of Chrome Cranks and Marce Hall of Railroad Jerks) helped out on Old (Sympathy, 1994), a collection of much more regular songs, although still infected by the duo's satanic humour (a horn section, cocktail-lounge ballads such as Back In The Days and Back On The Night Of May , boogie numbers for saloons of the desert such as Stimulant and Brave New Blues, and blasphemous nonsense such as Robert Kennedy Blues and Painting The Devil's Office Again).

I Workdogs sono un duo di New York (il cantante e bassista Rob Kennedy e il batterista Scott Jarvis) che suonano un rock and roll primitivo e amatoriale, una sorta di compromesso fra Half Japanese, Cramps e Pussy Galore. Non a caso collaborarono con i Gibson Brothers. Le "canzoni" di Roberta (Okra, 1988 - Sympathy, 1994) sono improvvisate in maniera maniacale (la title-track dura sedici minuti).

In Hell (Sympathy, 1993) e` una "blues opera" a cui partecipa l'intellighenzia di New York, da Foetus a Lydia Lunch, da Moe Tucker a Jad Fair. Il tema del disco sembra essere la decadenza morale, visto che ogni canzone e` dedicata a qualche storia di degenerazione.

Un nugolo di veterani della new wave (Jon Spencer dei Pussy Galore, Jerry Teel dei Chrome Cranks e Marce Hall dei Railroad Jerks) partecipa anche a Old (Sympathy, 1994), una raccolta di canzoni molto piu` regolari, anche se sempre viziate da quel loro humour satanico (una sezione di fiati, ballate da cocktail lounge come Back In The Days e Back On The Night Of May , boogie da saloon come Stimulant e Brave New Blues, e nonsense sacrileghi come Robert Kennedy Blues e Painting The Devil's Office Again).

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