The CD for Dead Dick Hammer and the TBA Band’s Four Play by the 8-Track Player is designed to look like a blood-spattered record, so that should give you a fair idea of what’s in store for you. It starts with the disturbing skit “Farmer Dick’s Fun Time Acres” and rolls into “The Devil’s a Dick” (perhaps a warning for the evil that takes place at Fun Time Acres?). It’s a solid rocker with Dead Doc Kong’s excellent drumming and Dead Dick and Dead Doreen Laveau’s great exchanges on guitar and bass, respectively, and none other than John Dugan from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre as the Devil.
The band swings harder on “Green River,” which tells the story of how the three of them died one fateful night in a watery grave. Oh, didn’t I tell you? Dead Dick Hammer and the TBA Band died decades ago and came back from the dead to destroy Auto-tuned rock. It flows seamlessly into “What’s the Emergency?” – a crazy terror ride full of weird 9-1-1 calls and rocking guitar, organ, drums, and a bass line so smooth and deadly that it could be the theme for a professional killer who plays in a blues band on the side.
The title track shows Dead Dick’s love of hair metal, but only he and the TBA Band could blend hair metal with a Theremin. “Psycho Pussy Sideshow” is a fun tribute to grindhouse movie ads you used to hear on the radio in the 1970’s. It’s a fun intro to the next track, “Lil Children Shouldn’t (Play with Dead Things)” – which is a grindhouse movie – in which children learn the horror of playing with rotten corpses (even if they are puppies). Dead Dick plays with more corpses in “Baby Lives in Batesville,” which has solid chops from him and the TBA Band, and the horn break on it is the best I’ve heard since the one in “I Know What Boys Like” by the Waitresses.
“Rubbernecker (Polly Text Alot)” is a dire warning about texting while driving and what may happen to you after you crash. Just hope that your EMT is not Dead Dick Hammer. “Confessions (of a Truckstop Cowboy)” is a perverted skit, but pretty funny nonetheless. It’s a joke I’m surprised no one else has thought of before.
Once you stop laughing, you’ll start head-banging to “The Attack of the Music Makers” – an audio assault on “Auto-tune boom boom” music that will turn your head-banging into nodding in agreement.
It’s the most psychotic record you’ve heard in a long time, and a fun ride if you go along with it. Just don’t get in Dead Dick’s van. Follow the van. For the love of God, don’t get in it!
~ Nik Havert
Nik Havert is a writer, DJ at WSND 88.9FM University of Notre Dame, harmonica player, martial arts instructor, comic book publisher, crime fighter,music lover, cult movie enthusiast, and modern day Renaissance man. He hopes to shark cage dive sometime in the next few years and enjoys travel and good natural root beer. Visit his web site at http://www.picklepress.net.
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