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Music Review: Left Lane Cruiser – Junkyard Speed Ball

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A new Left Lane Cruiser album is always a happy event in my household, and Junkyard Speed Ball, their fourth album and the third with Alive Records, does not disappoint. It is rough, gritty, fast, and as hysterically funny as it is sad and bluesy (kinda like life). While 2009’s All You Can Eat!! was reminiscent of very old-school punk, this latest release reminds me of vintage Ozzy Black Sabbath crossed with Allman Bothers and The Sweet (anyone remember Ballroom Blitz?) as played by Louisiana Red and Screaming Jay Hawkins.

It is rare anymore to hear an actual two man band that produces a wall of sound. The drums, harmonica, slide guitar, and whatever else these boys can get their hands on to play all combine into a huge musical presence. In this album they are joined in several songs by Reverend James Leg (John Wesley Myers) of Alive Record’s Black Diamond Heavies on keyboards, adding yet another layer of sound.

Evans and Beck pay homage to the good basics of life like the 3am Big Breakfast at Denny’s and the Weed and Vodka preceding. There is a lot of comfort food love here, with homages to “At the Denny’s”, “Cracker Barrel”, and the ubiquitous “24 Hour” diners and fast food joints.

From the slow vibes of “Hip-Hop” to the distortion of “24 Hour” this is blues at its best. Left Lane Cruiser create an all-encompassing world in each song along with an emotional response that goes with it. They draw their listener in to these worlds, whether happy, sad, angry, or just trashed. Enjoy the ride – I did!

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