Blacktop Deceiver "Monster on the Street"
Dead Pedal Records

As NW Groove closes in on its first month of publication, I am pleased to announce a review of the first mailed-in CD I received! No prior knowledge of the band, no pre-conceived notion of what they may sound like... Aside from the term "rockabilly" thrown out, I really wasn't sure what to expect. Ok, so...when I hear "rockabilly," I think of the Stray Cats from back in the Eighties, but I had a feeling this wasn't going to be the polished, retro-esque Cats style, but probably something more...primitive.  I was right, and I'm not the slightest bit disappointed! Blacktop Deceiver does not deceive the listener into thinking they are anything but who they are.

As some may know, I do 99.9999999999% of my listening in the car (it's got a nice shaker system in it, so why not?), so when I popped in "Monster on the Street" and the first song, "My '34 Ford" started thumping through the speakers of my '06 Ford, I knew I was in for one heck of a ride.

"Monster..." is a whopping 14-song disc that doesn't really let up once the '34 revs its engine. It's raw, it's in your face, it's real and unrepentant; they make no apologies for who they are. Blacktop Deceiver are renegades on the road, filled to the brink with diesel and pedal to the metal. Jay Loney's ("slappin' n howlin') prominent stand-up bass thunders through each piece, while Jason Luttrull (vocals n string breakin') takes us along the journey, one filled with interesting characters and circumstances, set to the rhythm provided by Rev. Vetala Hawkins (percussion n preachin') and accented by Ron Averill's pickin' n cursin'.

The songs are catchy, quirky, fun...at times sarcastic, but not in a cruel kind of way. There are a few road-oriented songs ("My '34 Ford," "Behind the Wheel," "Fortune on the Floor"), party tunes ("Roll Tonight," "Drinkin' and Fallin' Down," "Blacktop Bop"), love, for better or worse ("The Lock," "Wake Me Twice," "Turbo Diesel Lover"), bad boys and girls ("She's Back In Business," "Angel Loves Disaster," "The Last Bad Man In Town," "No Jail Hold Us All"), and umm...tragedy ("Tragedy on Pickle Farm Road"). Every once in a while, I find myself singing some of them under my breath at work, such as "'My '34 Ford," "Drinkin' and Fallin' Down" and "Angel Loves Disaster," or have a rhythm section or two (or more) go through my head as a soundtrack during the day. I love bass, and it thunders through loud and clear on this disc. Jason's vocal approach...is hard to describe, label, contain within a term...he wouldn't win American Idol, but I wouldn't want him to.  His accents and cadence are very distinctive and fits well with the band's against the grain style. It's rock from another era, but not quite...it has punk elements, some country leanings, underground alternative (not the grunge stuff from twenty years ago...I mean older, like in the early rebel rock of the sixties/seventies). The lyrics are well thought out, and the stories are deeper than the surface; I enjoy some of the twists in lyrics like in "The Lock" and "Angel Loves Disaster."

Blacktop Deceiver is unlike anything I'd ever really heard before, and that's a good thing. I really enjoyed this CD. I'd love to catch them with The Wild Snohomians some time!
(Don't know who they are? They will be reviewed very soon!)


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    TSSutherland is a lover of music that thumps, bumps, rocks & wails! An avid believer in supporting local arts, this page will feature reviews of NW Blues, Rock & Funk.


    January 2014