The Morlocks Play Chess


By Eric W. Saeger

Sloppy filthy blues-rock, heroin problems, old school tremolo on the guitar, a singer who did a dime in a Mexican prison for a drug scam gone wrong – exactly how are you supposed to outcool this LA band?  Singer Leighton Koizumi sounds like George Thorogood when he’s being nice and Al Jourgensen when he’s really trying to get his point across. Here, he’s got a lot of history to help prop up that meaner side, a set of retired tunes from the Chess Records catalog.  The beauty part is that these guys don’t make like body-shop dweebs trying to bring out the beauty of these oldies; they’re more like American Pickers, taking the stuff as it is, rusted and run-down, and then bashing it with a sledgehammer for good measure. One could easily imagine this Marlboro-puffing Halloween-rock backgrounding episodes of True Blood, from their blow-doors version of the Pulp Fiction-popularized “You Never Can Tell” to the Thorogood-beatdown “Who Do You Love.” Grade: A (Popantipop Records)

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