[Editor's note: Stream the full album from The Almighty Defenders exclusively on Buddyhead for the next week, scroll down to the bottom of review for the streaming widget.]
Artist: Almighty Defenders
Album Almighty Defenders (2009)
Label: Vice Records
If these guys were famous this band would actually be labeled a “supergroup”. But seeing as how no one knows who the fuck any of these dudes are outside of American Apparel store attendees, Internet nerds, people who still ride skateboards, dudes who drink their own pee (and dudes who drink other dudes’ pee), we’re gonna go and label this a “fun project record” made by hillbillies.
And fun, fun, fun it is, so break out your plastic bottle of vodka and take a full-gulp-pull! What you’ve got here is a bon-a-fide ‘evil gospel’ album recorded by Cole Alexander, Jared Swilley, Ian Saint Pé, Joe Bradley (Black Lips), King Khan and Mark Sultan (The King Khan & BBQ Show) during an off week between tours in Berlin.
Almighty Defenders is the soundtrack to a party where you throw back a ton of really shitty beer and inhale even shittier cocaine. You know…the kind that your drug dealer cuts the shit out of and ends up being mostly baby power with gasoline (ah, street drugs!) and leaves you in the morning with a headache that feels like someone took a sledgehammer to your skull? I’m gonna go out on a limb and guess that’s exactly what fueled this jam session: cheap beer and even cheaper blow. It’s sloppy; it’s messy; they did it in a hurry, but it’s still really fuckin’ good. You can tell they had a real good time making this beautiful mess of a record, all eleven cuts of it.
The record starts off with “All My Loving,” which is a King Khan-fronted stompin’ party intro complete with tribal drums and everyone chanting, “All my lovin’ for this old world!” over and over. It’s a small indication that you’re in for a good time. Hey can you pour me a beer into one of those plastic cups? Sha-la-la-la-la! The second track on this jammy album is one of my favorites. When “The Ghost With the Most” kicks in, Jared Swilley’s retarded-frog-croak vocals let you know the party has started for sure. Where did that bottle of whiskey go? By the time song three kicks in, the party is in high gear and people are swinging to the beat of “Bow Down and Die”. This is the musical equivalent of being 10 beers and three bumps deep. Yer feelin’ good, still on the way up and that girl dancing on top of the table is giving you the eye! Make a move, son, before Cole from The Black Lips exposes his unit and all the girls leave the party.
By the time “Cone of Light” kicks in everything’s starting to get burly (in a good way), everyone at the party is way better looking than I remember them being, I’m no longer worried about ANYTHING, and my lips are totally numb. Hmmm… numb, comfortably numb. I like being numb, and “Cone of Light” is a fuckin’ jam. It also gets points for being the only track with a vocalist who can actually sing. This dude gets way more tail than the other dudes on this record. I can tell that kind of information just from the way he sings. And that, my friends, is why I’m a professional music journalist.
I know this is a dangerous record cuz listening to it gives me the urge to inhale some beers with my friends; every one of these tracks sounds better after at least eight beers. A sloppy drinking record, for sure. And that includes the sloppy part of the party where you get kinda weird and piss on something (or somebody, or in someone’s mouth).
I couldn’t get into “Jihad Blues” as much. It reminded me of that period when you start leaving the party to take a piss in the backyard. Lord knows the bathroom line is too long for my drunk ass to wait in, and after this many beers no one’s gonna be able to tell me there’s something wrong with pissing in the backyard. And, quite frankly, there is nothing wrong with pissing in the backyard. Right?
The next two songs, “30 Second Air Blast” and “Death Cut Soup n’ Salad,” aren’t really songs cuz they both clock in at just over a minute. More like snippets, “cop outs,” or “rip offs” as they call ‘em where I’m from. They plugged those two tracks into the record like it was a game of drunken darts. Awkward and without a solid transition, these tracks leave you feeling like you were just swindled by a carny. O.K., that’s a tad dramatic, but every time the songs come on, I use that time to get up and crack a new brewski, so if that’s why the band included ‘em on here… GOOD WORK DUDES!
“I’m Coming Home” crosses the finish line with the ‘Best Songwriting’ gold, mostly cuz these drunk hillbillies didn’t write it. Yep, this is a cover of the Mighty Hannibal. And the Mighty Hannibal was pimp as shit. Original Gangster. Homeboy literally sold hoes. At any rate, there’s some cool backwards guitar on “I’m Coming Home” that makes me wanna eat acid and run around naked in Big Sur with my hot, hippie girlfriend.
“Over The Horizon” is another one that clocks in at just over a minute-and-a-half. Hey hillbillies: nothing under two minutes is a real song unless you’re in Bad Brains. FACT! Cop out again. “She Came Before Me” shoulda been higher in the track listing cuz it’s a jam. What were you dudes thinking sticking it on the ass-end? Trying to even this shit out? Bad move, hillbillies, cuz track 10 (AKA “She Came Before Me”) is a single.
This party ends like most parties do — on a bummer note with eerie keyboards and some drunk kid yelling at you like he’s an Alabama preacher. No one likes that guy. “The Great Defender” feels like the final stage of a party when some drunk asshole pulls a hit ‘n run on your car as he’s leaving. Or maybe like that time your friend puked up his cheap beer all over your lady friend. What a nightmare! Once any of that shit happens, I’m pretty ready to leave the party, screw my girlfriend at home and then chew up a bar of Xanax. Lights out.
- Travis Keller
This is some text prior to the author information. You can change this text from the admin section of WP-Gravatar To change this standard text, you have to enter some information about your self in the Dashboard -> Users -> Your Profile box. Read more from this author