The PB Army - Spine For The Snapback - Sin Klub Entertainment 2005
12 Songs
Running Time: 44:58

The band cranks this rusty tractor to the sound of 'Trouble In The Woodshed', a dirty little barrelhouse blues number that rocks like Five Horse Johnson with the trucker speed shakes. 'A Hole In The New Leaf' and 'Dying On The Starting Line' are a weird pair, considering the more gritty tone of 'Trouble...', in that they find The PB Army spending time plundering Queens Of The Stone Age's more recent output, which leaves them sounding like a more pissed-off Foo Fighters. It was with these two songs, and the catchy-as- Hell 'Moderation', that I began to see the light. There are two entities at work within the body that is The PB Army. One is that of John Lee Hooker, MC5, and the countrified stream-of-consciousness found in Clutch, Paw, and Mule. The other is more...not so much "radio-friendly" as "user-friendly", if you get my drift. Strangely, it's when these two end up fighting for prominence in the same song that The PB Army really catch fire. Case in point being the blistering 'Viva Los Alamos'. Charged with a fatalistic humour, and revelling in it's own demise, this song will ignite more bars than a Great White reunion tour. 'Martyr Bound' howls like a swamp banshee while the lethargic groove does the Sasquatch stomp all over your aural senses. Initiating a false sense of sobriety, half of 'Martyr Bound' is an instrumental - time to reload the pipe and knock back a shot before the aneurysm-inducing fury of 'Bringing A Knife To The Gunfight'. If the two spirits possessing The PB Army were fighting to be heard before, this song finds them after a full head-on collision, bludgeoning each other with pieces of the wreckage. Problem is, I could see this much musical schizophrenia being a detriment to those suckered in by the QOTSA-inspired catchiness of songs like 'Moderation'. Honestly, though, if all it takes is a little insanity to put you off, The PB Army is Not The Band For You. 'The Five Nines' swaggers like Clutch on a pirate ship, but 'A Temporary Absence' is just...there. I mean, it's not "bad", just "blah", which can sometimes be worse. The battle for the soul of The PB Army continues in 'Ate A Lie', the verses being a bit too nasal in delivery, reminding me unnecessarily of early 90s "punk", before slamming into a chorus reminiscent of the much-missed Floodgate, and injecting a bit of power metal riffery just for kicks. The PB Army end things where they started with the full-bore dirty-ass groove of 'Sanguine', and finish the album on a high note indeed.

It's a mixed bag, this one, but it's full of trickery, drunken hi-jinks, and outright shenanigans. With eight of the twelve songs being at least "good", and at least a couple of those being "damn good", Spine For The Snapback is the perfect album to clear out the hangers-on when they can't take the hint to go the fuck home and make way for the real partiers.

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