Monday, March 27, 2006

out of control

thought i'd start the week off with a look at one of A4D's favorite albums from the past. it was never clear to me if White Hassle were a side-project or just an iteration of the ny-based band Railroad Jerk. a year following the release of the final RJ record, members marcellus hall and dave verenka released the album National Chain. that debut/evolution eliminated the punk elements of the noisey country rock and rural blues equation found on the RJ records and simplified things, parring down to a guitar and some pots and pans providing the percussion alongside hall's great vocal deliveries. later that year i saw the band at irving plaza, where during a matador records showcase, the two opted to create their own second stage and play to a bewildered and excited crowd gathering on the staircase. the group gained some notoriety years later when Modest Mouse's issac brock mentioned in a rolling stone interview that he had tattooed the title of the White Hassle song "life is still sweet" on his arm. White Hassle's line-up has since grown and they are still going at it, albeit quietly overseas. they released an album in france last year and toured europe earlier this year. National Chain meanwhile still gets a lot of plays at my apartment and is worth investigating for anyone else interested in rural folk sounds meshed with city wit.

White Hassle "Out of Control"


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