Twisted, Sick Stuff from Larry and His Flask
Larry and His Flask bridge the gap between grasscore and gypsy punk with a bunch of funny songs. Punk rock at its best isn’t just assaultive, it’s fun, and that’s exactly what these guys bring to the party. They’re twisted and sick – and they’re excellent musicians. Their popularity is yet another reminder of how much of an audience there is for party music that isn’t stupid, that hasn’t been focused-grouped to death. Their new album Hobo’s Lament might be their best yet: they sound like they’re an awful lot of fun live. They’re at Webster Hall on Sept 29 and 30 at around 7.
The first track, Closed Doors is electric spaghetti western grasscore. Social Distortion might have gone in this direction if Mike Ness had more goth in him; the sarcastic little joke midway through will get a chuckle out of everybody. Big Ride is a politically incorrect anthem about the big party to end all big parties, complete with wryly ornate bvox and a trumpet-fueled gypsy punk outro. My Name Is Cancer is just as sick: over a lickety-split punkgrass groove (with an excellent, creepy mandolin break), the Big C wants everybody to know that he’s coming for your children!
The title track is a punked out swing tune told from the morose point of view of a bum who crashes a party. Likewise, the album’s last two tracks, a brisk, gypsyish shuffle and a distorto guitar jazz crooner ballad, have the suspicious feel of parodies. Larry and His Flask take nothing seriously but the music. Albums like this only make you wonder how many other Larries there might be out there, chugging on their flasks, playing punk rock in their friends’ parents’ garages, pondering their next move.