Whether selling wacky backy in Italian (Vendidi Fumar), laughing at the hangman (Pity The Noose) or predicting death in ‘Car Crash’, Churchwood don’t deal in lullabies. They are the result of the past being dragged firmly into the present. Bill Anderson (The Meat Purveyors), Joe Doerr (Ballad Shambles, Hand of Glory) and their gang of retrobates bring their brand of white boy blues to the table with a self titled debut album which is in equal parts catchy and downright scary. The heavy rambling guitars are as diverse as the lyrics; you don’t learn this in song writing classes. The drums are from the John Bonham school of kickass while the bass leaves a dirty sonic footprint everywhere it wanders.
They list Skip James and Don Van Vliet as influences but they are very much their own. There are bits of Captain Beefheart, Ramblin’ Jack Elliot, take your pick. It could even be said that the intellectual but whimsical nature of their poetic license brings to mind Freddy Mercury at his mischievous gothic best and during ‘Can O Worms’ an elusive, somewhat comical but persistent image of Freddy in cowboy boots and a Stetson permeates the last vestiges of sanity and Churchwood’s job is done. This lot should come with a government health warning. They are dangerous, exiting and their debut album sounds like it fell out of a rock n roll tree, hit every deranged blues branch on the way down and got up spitting and snarling to go spread its mad dog message to the people. All in all, really rather good.