Jon Spencer and Matt Verta-Ray 

Heavy Trash (Yep Roc)

Elvis lives . . . in spirit anyway, as reflected by this retro collaboration between Jon Spencer, leader of his self-dubbed Blues Explosion, and Matt Verta-Ray from rockabilly revivalist Speedball Baby. Vintage-sounding rockers, such as "Dark Hair'd Rider," "Lover Street," and "The Loveless," take a cue from Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash, and other Sun Records alumni, while the sole ballad, "Fix These Blues," recalls Exile-era Stones. Spencer's seductive croon dominates the proceedings stylistically, but Verta-Ray's influence seems to have held sway. Heavy? Not really, although the sardonic leer and amped-up attitude confirm that this Trash wasn't simply tossed off.

More by Lee Zimmerman


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