Dawn and I were shaken out of white line fever on the Pennsylvania Turnpike when this one came rattling over the speakers, a raucous blend of Americana and garage rock, an unholy marriage of Black Oak Arkansas and Chickasaw Mudpuppies from a band incongruously generated by the Portland music scene, not otherwise known for its twang.
I Can Lick Any SOB sports what might be called an “enlightened redneck” persona on this, their second album: anti-war, anti-Bush (“Things That Fail” “American Fuck Machine”), anti-gun (“Dear Mr. Heston”), anti-women-named-Courtney (“The Ballad of Courtney Taylor”), but they are pro-guitar and pro-harmonica, the lynchpins of the band’s eccentric, choogling sound.
The band is Mole Harris – Bass, David Lipkind – Harmonica, Jon Burbank – Lead Guitar, FlapJack Texas – Drums, Mike D – Vocals, Guitar. I assume Mike D is writing the lyrics, and his twang is explained in “In the Mud”:
“my granddaddy was born in kellyville, oklahoma
and he died in a psych ward all alone
me I stare at the stars from down in the gutter
sure is pretty down here don’t ya know
my daddy was born in pike county kentucky
he had hatfield in his blood”
Good to know where you’re coming from, Mike. If you can get past a certain, um, raggedness to Mike’s vocals, this is some finger-licking good rock ‘n’ roll with a radical anti-establishment bent. Yee-haw.