Fireballs of Freedom Welcome To The Octagon

It took me a while to figure out who these guys sound like, after hearing their howled double-lead vocals scraping away at each other over the guitar's full steam ahead, jagged blues riffs. It was so familiar and just on the tip of my tongue, until it finally came to me - Royal frickin' Trux! Not the most popular or easy band to channel, but that says a lot about how hair raisingly unhinged these blues punk shockers are. All the songs, like "We Do It Everyday" and "Skalawag," have a rubbery, tricky, tail-chasing quality that can only be referred to as the sonic equivalent of chimpanzees on psilocybin. A definite soul element manages to elbow its way in now and again on Welcome..., like the organ-happy "Panties Off," which is closer to Jon Spencer turf than Hagerty/Harrema country. Goopy guitar fuzz and lots of feedback play a big role in FOF's world, too, as the big "LA Blues"-based finale to "Swamp Wolf " clearly shows. This is a great, wild record that is an early favorite in the race for the coveted title of "least relaxing album of the year!" (Estrus)