Review – Hayshaker – Black Holiday in Mexico City EP (Shut Eye Records)

Surveying a wide swath of American music in just 6 songs, Waycross, Georgia’s Hayshaker features the wedded C.C. and Laurie Rider on rhythm guitar and vocals, and vocals respectively and T.W. Lott on guitar and Frank Sikes on drums. The band belies their leanness in members by producing a massive sound sure to shake the tin roof off any roadhouse.

Their recent EP, Black Holiday in Mexico City gets things rolling with the Bakersfield-sound fueled “Laurie’s Song” with C.C. and Laurie’s harmonies reminiscent of Exene Cervenka and John Doe in X’s twangier moments. The middle part of the song breaks off into the chug-chug-chug that starts off Dolly Parton’s 9 to 5, but then kicks back into that sweet West Coast honkey-tonk beat.

In the Snow is a dark moody rocker that makes you want to bang your head to the story mental anguish. Scrap Work stretches out a country-rock landscape with yearning pedal steel and searing guitar work.

El Camino brings Dick Dale spastic surf-guitar spiked with Pixies fury complete with Black Francis yelps and exquisite Black and Kim Deal-style harmonies “Oh my pain, is like a candy cane, you lick and you lick, and it goes away.” Classic!

Black Holiday is a swampy murder ballad punctuated with a cool jumpy guitar lick that turns fierce in the middle then suddenly shimmers like asphalt heat just to jump up and blast out at the end.

Mexico City is a hoedown stomp reflection on South of the Border wantonness. “I lost my heart, I lost my soul, to a bottle and a whore in Mexico.” The EP ends with Dirtkick, a Black-Betty-eque hot rod surge to the cliff on a whiskey fueled race to hell. The drunken phone message hidden at the end is hilarious and a little freaky.

Pack up your ’56 Plymouth Fury and hit the long lonely dusty road and let Hayshaker’s “Black Holiday in Mexico City” be your soundtrack.

Laurie’s Song (MP3)

Laurie’s Song

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