Friday, October 24, 2008

Adjective Noun: Think Tank

Prescott Curlywolf - Think Tank [purchase]

"Placated angst, what for?
The strings that tethered me
Vacated sleeves that I've worn
No foot on the brakes, no foot on the brakes for me."

As the years pass, I'm convinced that Prescott Curlywolf is the greatest band to ever come out of Austin, TX -- at least within the last 25-30 years. Granted, the Butthole Surfers have a strong argument, Scratch Acid, The Dicks, and Big Boys have the entrenched nostalgia of old-school punks on their side, Spoon gets the chicks and sells out all manner of venue, The Gourds and Bad Livers can thumbwrestle for anarcho-acoustic crown, and lest we forget, Stevie Ray & Double Trouble have the tragic mythos. I'm sure there's a dozen other bands with more luck and better PR who could leap to the top of the GOAT poll.

But, Prescott has Rob Bernard (pictured right) and thusly the discussion ends. The only guitar player I've ever heard able to successfully reconcile Eddie Van Halen with D. Boon, Bernard distills what could easily be self-indulgent wankery into :30 explosions of vicious economy, like Keith Moon on punk rock Telecaster. Combine his less-is-more genius with songwriting partner, Ron Byrd's, power-trash melodicism, and Prescott, at their best, were the perfect synthesis of The Replacements and Nirvana, as if Kurt Cobain was composing with Bob Stinson's guitar thrash in mind. Add to this the occasional Black Franciscan songwriting contributions of bassist, Tim Kinard, and you have a band ... a fearless, rat-a-tat rhythm machine of a band, no less ... that managed to reference three post-punk giants without devolving into the calculated and formulaic Red Bull jingles painfully common in the fashion-first Pitchfork Era. That's one man's think tank summary anyway. No foot on the brakes for me.

For a comprehensive summary of this great band, please visit The Adios Lounge.

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