Ripping Apart Roots Music
Heavy Trash, the New York duo of John Spencer and Matt Verta-Ray, wants you to go way out with them â€šÃ„Ã¬ or maybe way back. The duo takes roots music back to the origins of rock-and-roll, starting with an overwhelming rockabilly sound and haphazardly doling out the punk and the blues.The bandâ€šÃ„Ã´s largely bass-driven, 1950s-reminiscent sound is evident on the opening track “Pure Gold,” which serves as a sort of overture for the album, showcasing the duo’s signature sound and wild vocals, which sometimes resemble cat-calls more than words. This hectic number leads into “Outside Chance,” the album’s catchiest and most melodic track. Joined by The Sadies on this track, Spencer and Verta-Ray produce a cleaner sound than they do in many of their other songs, while still retaining their raw style in the solos. Other highlights include “Crazy Pritty Baby,” an upbeat song with a hint of surf-rock thrown in, and the pared-down, sparsely scored “Crying Tramp,” Heavy Trash’s stab at a ballad.
As Heavy Trash says on its MySpace page, the group has “destroyed and rebuilt American roots music with such ferocity and wild abandon it is hard to believe that there is anything left.” The remainder of the tracks on Going Way Out prove this, leaving the listener to wonder exactly what the group thinks â€šÃ„ÃºAmerican roots musicâ€šÃ„Ã¹ is anyway. The group takes listeners so far out from whatever these roots are that they may never return. Some may enjoy this journey. Others will want it to be over as so on as possible.