Sound Advice

Ben Lybarger
Rock and Roll Purgatory is Cleveland's most kickass 'zine, a down-and-dirty deluge of all things rock. Publisher Ben Lybarger names some titles you need.

What have you been listening to lately?

The new Starvations album, Gravity's a Bitch, is outstanding in a grizzled sort of way: alienated and dark roots-punk with strong whiffs of Gun Club and the Pogues. There are also a couple notable bands from Montreal: Demon's Claws, who crunch out some hallucinatory backwoods garage rock, and the one-man rockabilly trash band Bloodshot Bill. I'm also in love with the eccentric brilliance that is Shark Pants, the scuzzed-out madness that is the Feelers, the weirdo punk savagery that is the Tyrades, and the Slovenian surf savants that are the Bitch Boys.

Name some albums that will ensure you a place in hell.

Sasquatch & The Sick-A-Billys' Burning Miles of Sin certainly won't pave your way to the Pearly Gates, but you'll be happily hellbound alongside these miscreants as they splay open those stale old rockabilly conventions. I also think there's something sinister about Unsane. Their Lambhouse collection is like an abattoir for the Lord's sheep.

It's 3 a.m. on a Friday night. You're drunk and surly. What are you listening to?

The Baseball Furies' Greater Than Ever or All-American Psycho will do nicely, each with the appropriate amounts of venom and screaming malcontent. If I'm still in the manic/hyper phase of drunkenness, some Career Suicide or the Krunchies will go down nicely.

You seem to enjoy dressing up as religious figures. What are your favorite tunes about the Lord?

Slim Cessna's Auto Club does a song about Roger Williams, the founder of the first Baptist Church in America. There's something very creepy about that. Mojo Nixon does a nice cover of Peter Berryman's "Are You Drinkin' With Me Jesus?", which combines the two great addictions of our time. Also, Neko Case does a stunning version of Hank Sr.'s "Alone and Forsaken," one of the best songs ever written.

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