Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Music Reviews: Wimpy And The Medallions - "Still Headed Nowhere"

Wimpy Rutherford is a punk rock icon. From his days as the original lead singer of The Queers to his current job filling the shoes of the late G.G. Allin as leader of The Jabbers, Wimpy has been a force to be reckoned with for close to 30 years. And now the man is back with a new release, "Still Headed Nowhere", and a new band, Wimpy And The Medallions.

Anyone who knows Wimpy will remember songs like "Kicked Out Of The Webelos", "I'm Useless" and "I Want Chinese Food". So, going into this EP I was kinda expecting the same style. Loud, in your face and raunchy! It's still loud and in your face...but the raunch has been toned down a little. And, to be honest, I LIKE it! Starting out with the title track, it almost sounds, musically, like the twin brother of "Search And Destroy" by Iggy & The Stooges. Wimpy sings about "smoking pot all day and drinking whiskey every night" and trying to be famous but not quite getting there. It's true old school punk rock lyrically with a 60's garage feel musically, thanks to The Medallions.

The band's name may not ring a bell. But in actuality it's the Kurt Baker band backing Wimpy up on these 4 tracks. And they're KILLING it! "36 Weeks" starts off like a killer fuzzed out guitar riff then goes into a nice blues style rhythm complete with organs and a rolling bass line thanks to Kurt Baker himself. Then out of the blue it goes full speed ahead, fast and furious, only to calm back down and run smooth again. This is such a fun track that you'll never listen to Wimpy the same way again. I never knew he had it in him! Hell, even the bands cover of the Tommy James classic "Draggin' The Line" is a real barnburner! This band is onto something special here.

The Medallions, Kurt Baker (bass), Geoff Useless (guitar), Kris "Fingers" Rodgers (keyboards) and Craig Sala (drums) are the perfect band for this project. They have that old fashioned late 60's rock n roll swing mixed in with some modern day punk rock heaviness. It's a perfect match for Wimpy's gravely vocal approach and intensity behind the mic. I couldn't have asked for a better supergroup than The Medallions.

So far this release is an MP3 download only. But I'm hoping to see a vinyl release at some point in the near future. Sure, in this day or digital this and digital that, I can see why this is the only format it's available on. But, like the music the bands channeling, I'm old fashioned and love the sound of vinyl playing at a high volume. So, fingers crossed there will be hard copies pressed real soon.

I gotta give it up to Wimpy & The Medallions...this is a fantastic EP full of riffs, fuzz, and a little dirt coming together to make one solid release. I'm looking forward to seeing what the future holds for this band. I think with some time and care this band could make a solid full length comparable to anything the classic Queers line-up did. This is a band that can do anything and make it work if they set their minds to it. It shows on "Still Headed Nowhere". But, in an ironic twist...I see them GOING somewhere!

4 / 5 stars

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