Filthy Jim - Ride With Death - Dead Teenager Records 2004
8 Songs
Running Time: 33:26

From the first smoky, stumbling riff of the title track, one thing is clear...Kansas' Filthy Jim are not here to fuck around with pretentious garage rock stylings. Nor, it seems, are they content to lurch along just because they can. At the 3:43 mark, all thoughts of sluggishness are laid to waste by dangerous Zeke-inspired rock and roll glory. You have no problem picturing lead belter Seth Cole swinging from the exposed pipeworks criss-crossing the ceiling of The Lager House (obligatory Detroit name-dropping, so I seem cool), while the fuzzbomb guitars of Steve Hammond hammer the first few rows into submission. 'Tied To The Needle' doesn't slow the frantic pace, conjuring the ghosts of MC 5, or more currently, Goatsnake on uppers. Cole's voice is far from the nicotine-and-whiskey drenched baritone of Mark Lanegan, and seems more at home blasting past like a racing dunebuggy than anything else. Never has the song title 'Ham Sandwich' packed as much of a musical punch. For all their menacing rock'n'roll, Filthy Jim is, at heart, barrelhouse blues on a bourbon bender. New levels of destructiveness are reached with the four-car pileup that is Teenage Witch', the rhythm section of Cooper Moon and Luke Parde racing like the Indy 500 after the pace-setting Cole/Hammond guitars. 'Gasoline' slows things down a bit, but while it works well as a break from the speed of the album thus far, I'm not sure how it would hold up on it's own. I've seen these guys referred to as "America's answer to The
Datsuns, but I can't see The Datsuns being able to kick it with as much booze-fuelled fervour as Filthy Jim, especially when
we're dealing with songs like the delirious rave-up 'Waxahachie'. The manual transmission gets jammed into Low about halfway through 'Goat Strain', but it's only so the band can let the engines cool just before revving and racing up the mountaintop that finishes the song, kicking up dust and gravel all the way. 'Is It My Body' sends out the "last call" of Ride With Death, and is clearly the most regular rock song on the album. It's not too hectic, but it's a nice ending, and if any Filthy Jim song were ever going to make it in the too-cool hipster scene, this is it.

For all the good words about this disc, it's clear that this is a band meant to be seen live, writhing on stage, and sweating
like field labourers in July. It's dangerous, it's combustible, and the scenesters will fucking hate it. Score one for the bad guys!

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