x
the_deli_magazine

Rate the Artist:


Please visit The Deli's full web charts organized by genre and region.


Go to Charts

Cancel

Album review: Scruffy & the Janitors - Anglo





Album review: Scruffy & the Janitors - Anglo

(Photos by Jaime Russell, Anthem Photography)
 
I am, at my very core, a pessimist. Always have been, most likely will always be; it is a deep-rooted personality flaw that I cannot seem to shake. Now, I’m not one of those “the world is a shithole, what does it all mean?” people—I don’t care about that. We are all going to die; it is a fact, so let’s have a good time, I say.
 
No, my pessimism comes from my love of music and the decline in quality of what is being released into the world the last few years. This “music,” its lack of drive, power and imagination only feeds my negativity. However, I have noticed a shift of late, a move that brightens me. I smell a return of rock n roll and St. Joseph’s Scruffy & the Janitors have fired off the latest shot with Anglo, their sophomore (and most cohesive) effort to date.
 
It has indeed been a good time for local music. Red Kate, The Bad Ideas, Radkey, The Sluts, Josh Berwanger Band, Black on Black, Muscle Worship, The Big Iron, and many others have released top-notch rock n roll over the last 14 months, and Anglo is no exception. Powered by “Shake It Off” and the most recent single, “Dirtleg,” Anglo is a slice of bar rock that has been knocking at the door, just waiting to join the party; S&tJ want to play with the cool kids and now they are.
 
Compared to their lo-fi/zero budget debut, Pino, a couple years ago, Anglo is a giant leap ahead in sonic quality and level of song. Time spent onstage (Scruffy had standout sets as part of MidCoast Takeover, had a prime spot at Middle of the Map Fest, opened for Gringo Star and J. Roddy Walston & the Business, and are opening for Kongos at The Midland on June 30. All of this—before heading to Toronto for NXNE (the Canadian SXSW) and a mini-tour—has brought out confidence that has been lying just below the surface, ready to rear its head to the world and stomp on its throat.
 
S&tJ have found their groove. “Nehemiah” is the funkiest track they have laid down to tape and features Teriq Newton’s most Hendrix-inspired guitar shots. A solid, flying high, blues jam from outer space. The track “Ms. Crucio” comes on like The Hives, Benjamin Booker, and Foo Fighters locked in a room with wild dogs for a minute and a half. Quick call-out to a triflin’ woman, it’s fierce, in-your-face, and fun. The bowel shaking bass from Steven Foster and pounding courtesy of Trevin Newton on drums don’t hurt the situation.
 
“Dirtleg” is the best song Cage the Elephant wishes it wrote. Aggressive, self-deprecating, longing to be gone but just can’t move on. You see a theme here? Stuck somewhere you don’t want to be with a woman that drives you nuts is a common theme in blues-based music; the story is as old as time: I really hate this woman but she won’t go away.
 
“Shake it Off,” the current gem getting heavy play on 96.5 The Buzz, is the middle finger song of a record packed with screw you songs. It is a quick shot to the face. “Shake it off / cause it ain’t only me / no we were never friends / I wasn’t letting you slide,” a chorus that stops just short of calling someone out by name, spitting in their face. There is venom wrapped in top-notch drumming, rock steady bass lines, and some of the best local guitar work around. That’s where some of the best music comes from, doesn’t it? Hate, dissatisfaction, displeasure with your situation, life screwing you? Art comes from pain, pain comes from living, living is better than the alternative.
 
Scruffy & the Janitors do not hide their influences on Anglo. They do not try to get cute by disguising who they admire under layers of production to sound “new.” This is blues garage rock plain and simple: Son House, Skip James, Cage the Elephant, The White Stripes, Arctic Monkeys and some punk touches are thrown in for good measure. Scruffy are one of those young bands that you know what you are getting when you put their record on: what you’ll get is rock n roll, no more no less. There is certainly nothing wrong with that.
 
--Danny R. Phillips
 
Danny has been reporting on music of all types and covering the St. Joseph music scene for well over a decade. He is a regular contributor to the nationally circulated BLURT Magazine and his work has appeared in The Pitch, The Omaha Reader, Missouri Life, The Regular Joe, Skyscraper Magazine, Popshifter, Hybrid Magazine, the websites Vocals on Top and Tuning Fork TV, Perfect Sound Forever, The Fader, and many others.
 
 

If you’re in St. Joe on Friday the 13th, you can catch Scruffy & the Janitors at the Anglo release party at First Ward House, with Cupcake and Rev Gusto. Facebook event page. They’ll be celebrating the release in Kansas City on Saturday, June 14 at recordBar with Heartfelt Anarchy, Domineko, and Rev Gusto. Facebook event page. 

 

 

HTML Hit Counter

This Emerging Artist is based in NYC,
check out other talented locals we picked
for our NYC Artist of the Month poll below!

New Poll Coming Soon!

sponsored by::
 

 

 

NYC New Bands With Buzz

- news for musician and music pros -

Loading...