Saturday, September 15, 2012
The Black Cadillacs - Run
I was one of the few that went to the 1982 Knoxville, Tennessee World's Fair. There was nothing there then as good as today's band The Black Cadillacs.
The Black Cadillacs are a blues-based indie rock band with a Tennessee twang. They hook you with the first building riff on their sophomore album Run. The first song itself, "Classic Fool", is a back porch acoustic guitar blues with a slowed down version of a Mungo Jerry chord progression riding on lead singer Will Horton's vocals. But, as Ron Popeil used to say, "That's not all!"
The album is replete with garage band distorted rock guitar, loud crashing drum kits, sub-woofer worthy bass, country ballads, and southern home cooking. Although lead singer Will Horton is good and is the ringmaster of this group of Knoxville-based midnight hue American-made luxury automobile monikered musicians, without guitarists and backing vocalists John Phillips' and Matthew Hyrka's contributions this would just be another "wannabe" indie rock band. Because of them you get great cry in your beer bar room ballads in "Would You Be So Kind" and "I Know Its Hard", the latter diverging toward garage band psychedelia near its culmination.
Then comes the classic stoner blues trifecta. It starts with "Choke", a song with such a bitchin' chord progression I decided to learn to play it myself. This hard rocker carries through to the next track, "How You Feelin'?. The tempo is dragged and becomes more desperate. "How You Feelin'?" flows seamlessly into the next offering, "100 Guns", so that tracks five, six and seven feel like a single composition with three movements. It reminded me of a Pink Floyd concept album.
The Black Cadillacs cook up a nasty blues stew, led by a distorted piano and harmonica, for the album's eighth offering "Find My Own Way". After all that heavy rock the track "Goodbye Fate" turns down the porch light as the lonely slow country ballad with a distinct Tennessee accent fills the room with mournful licks, slides and bends and some of the best lyrics on the whole album.
Will and his fleet just can't slow down for long. They come back with their heaviest blast of hard rockin' fun, "Shade". With its pounding beat, guitars with fuzz boxes set to stun, and the most delicious pulse gun of thunderous bass and drums, "Shade" ranks as the album's barn burner. The Black Cadillacs end Run with a slow, airy, introspective expression of hopelessness - the mournful "So On, So Off" that bemoans "So go on, go off. do what you do, I can't find a place for you."
When I went to the World's Fair we camped. It rained for eight days straight until the lake front we were camping on became part of the lake. Yep, The Black Cadillacs are definitely better than anything I remember about Knoxville.
- Old School
Find My Own Way
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