Album: Last of the Acid Cowboys
Label: Royal Potato Family
Release Date: 4.7.17
What an electrifying garage-rock album like Last of the Acid Cowboys needs is a little bit of classic soul. Like a calming drug prescribed to offset the euphoric psychedelic freakouts of Brooklyn-based upstarts Evolfo on their energetic debut LP, the influence of Stax Records’ Southern warmth has a mellowing effect on this seven-piece show band, with their summery horns, distorted vocals, righteously funky bass lines and strange, simmering organ moods. It doesn’t last long.
Haunted by the ghost of Otis Redding, these acid-dropping distant relatives of the Seeds and the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion create a raucous, colorful hybrid of modern and vintage sounds that’s alternately sunny and ominous, engaging and nefarious. Evolfo’s dark, primitive side emerges with wild, homicidal glee in “Bloody Bloody Knife,” where tight, angular rhythms bring order to wildly entertaining chaos. All sense of decorum goes out the window in the orgiastic “Luv Like a Freak,” a hot, greasy mess of rip-roaring rock ‘n’ roll perversion and feverish R&B exuberance, and “Rat City,” a frenetic, hyperactive mugger with stabbing riffs.
It’s exhilarating stuff, combustible and infectious, touched by madness. And yet, for all this excitement and vitality, it’s the cool, alien grooves of “Science” and the oddball melody and story of “Frank The Fiddler” that hypnotize, while the oozing, lysergic soul and fizzy pop sensibility of “Moon Eclipsed the Sun” feels like a party on Mars. Make sure to RSVP. When the slow jam “Don’t Give Up Your Mind” comes on, it’ll feel like Bill Withers is there, too.