Guitarist & Bassist for the Heathen Apostles, The Cramps, Nick Curran & the Lowlifes

Posts tagged “Post Punk

Heathen Apostles Album Review – Post Punk Country Music

From the Post Punk Monk website: Just six months in from the powerful impact of Chopper Franklin’s “Spaghetti Western Dub Vol. 1,” an album I’ve listened to heavily all year, I have to admit that I was already pining for more. The grit-drenched vibe was exactly what I had been ready for and in Mather Louth, I had discovered a vocalist who had jumped to the front of the queue of my favorites. The brassy, defiant timbre she brought to that album had me wanting more, and as if on cue, here is the follow up.

This time it’s from the Heathen Apostles mothership from whence the Spaghetti Western Dub project launched. The band is fascinated by probing the very darkest corners of Country music in a time when the genre is content to replicate the horror of The Eagles…with gated drums… and vague nods of a token slide guitar or a nasal-voiced singer as vestigial callbacks to actual Country music [Monk spits in dust]. That dreck is a far cry from what The Heathen Apostles serve up on their “lucky” seventh full length album, “The In Between.”

Heathen Apostles - Post Punk Country Music
Ratchet Blade Records | US | CD | 2024

Double bass and mandolin allowed a spirited violin to flourish in the intro to the title track. Mather Louth showed here that she had what it took to be a classic Country vocalist even as distorted rock guitar from Chopper Franklin edged into the song following the middle eight, but the music bed here was mostly acoustic instruments. Luis Mascaro’s violin [you could call it a fiddle and I wouldn’t flinch] was just getting started in this program as his dexterous playing was adding substantial melodic filigree into the dusky fabric of the song.

As “Capital T” proved beyond the shadow of a doubt with its hoedown intro that had Mascaro leading the song by the nose with his busy violin. Ms. Louth was excoriating a guy who was definitely trouble and cut through his song and dance by claiming “don’t tell me that it’s wine and roses…what rose smells like that” in the vicious chorus. Making sure to bite down on the lyric hard when repeating it twice in the song’s climax as she snarled the lyric like a panther.

There was room for a little more Spaghetti Western goodness with “The Gods Of Men” with its stately march tempo and acoustic guitars. The violin was playing a textural role here, teaming with the banjo and mandolin as Ms. Louth proffered a delicate proclamation of the philosophical lyric.

Following a surprising lowing bass synthesizer, “Coffin For The Nail” featured a mournful duet of banjo and mandolin as Chopper and Mather joined in with their distorted voices. Circling each other like feral cats in a hellish call and response. Mather sounded like she was going for a vintage PJ Harvey meets Steve Albini vibe here with the fatalistic tune enlightened only by the violin snaking out of the dark heart of the song with a solo before the foreboding middle eight.