Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part of our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Each and every Friday we offer songs by local artists. Today’s selection, featured on the Afternoon Show with Kevin Cole, is “Bedevilment” by Heavy Trash from the 2009 album Midnight Soul Serenade on Fat Possum.
New York City hound dogs Heavy Trash are a southern potluck supper with all the fixins’ of groove, grime and glamor. Seductive frontman Jon Spencer (The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion) and gut-punching guitarist Matt Verta-Ray (Speedball Baby) are the superglue to the rebellious punkabilly, rock-country phenomena. Between touring together in the 90s (Blues Explosion and Speedball Baby) and constantly bumping into each other in a “crummy” part of town, it’s only natural the two sound-mates would come together and mosey on over to Verta-Ray’s NY-Hed Studio in late 2004. With the help of Toronto’s The Sadies and members of Denmark bands Powersolo and The Tremolo Beer Gut, Heavy Trash clamored into the rockabilly music scene, releasing three albums, including their 2009, Midnight Soul Serenade.
With all the signature feverish distortion, warped twang and yelping blues, Verta-Ray describes Midnight as having a “smaller, but more intense” sound than their earlier albums. Add in drummer Sam Baker and stand-up bassist Simon Chardiet and you have one hip-swiveling party of an album. The swaggering, erratic “Bedevilment” is considered one of their best songs by fans and critics alike, and I can see why. Opening with classic surfer-punk guitar, “Bedevilment” shifts into a slow and sultry blues beat with Spencer ready to tempt you with his sinful voice. Carnivalesque organ keyboard (think Murder City Devils) leads up to a split-second mosh pit frenzy before flowing into a psychedelic almost Pink Floyd-like echo-fest of vocals and instruments. In less than two minutes and fifty seconds, I promise you will be bedeviled and howling for more.
You can check out more tunes from these slicked-back hair cats on their November KEXP live performance from The Cutting Room Studios NYC, from which this tasty treat, “In My Heart,” was taken: