Waa-BOOM! With an album title ripped from frontman Ryan Hoben’s muscleman tattoos, indiefolkrocksters Minto punch it open with sludgy dirge, “New Bones” – formerly a chooglin’ alt-country number in Minto’s prior lifetime as The Smokes, but now a bruisy beacon of changing times: Kalvin Olafson tossing his acoustic for big-watt ampage, Hoben’s voice three-fold improved. The loss of bassist/back-up vocalist Graham Myrfield didn’t drop the band a beat, as lead guitarist Evret Tucker swaggers into Minto’s trademark wall of vox harmonies. Suzy Easton’s bottom-thump bass is simple but suitably grungy, and gone-but-back drummer/cover artist Jimi Cuell’s tight, tight chops are smacking away with bigger, greasier balls. THE BIG STORY is that Steve “recorded The Pixies” Albini cut this thing in Chicago, and, naturally, Lay It On Me’s live-off-the-floor grit sonically stomps Fields and Factory Floors, the band’s amateur but compositionally shit-hot debut. Here, treats are numerous: the roaring tinkle-tinkle-BANG into “Fisherman’s Wife”, the slinky mellow dope-smoke of “Tiny Terrors”, the winking chorus of “Train Bridge Blues” (“OOOO0000oooo, the lawyers will get me off”), the lingering, gentle, porch-front finish of “Home Away” – an about-face from FAFF’s bring-the-house-down finale “Microphone”, re-recorded with Albini (and posted on MySpace), but not included here. “City Folks Dream” is a studio winner, a soul-tuggin’ head-noddin’ groove, guitars a-trillin’, delicate vocals a-weavin’… okay, the big rave-up is too much, but fuck it. Smokin’!
Posted: Jul 9, 2009