Junkyard Choir: Let Sleeping Dogs Lie Review

Mark Woods and Tom Herbert have played and recorded together before in a few different incarnations before evolving into Junkyard Choir, a project that captures the barfly, desert sun, and smoky-lung soul of blues rock. Whiskey-voiced Woods spends the majority of his time behind the mic belting with his whole diaphragm in a way that makes him sound like a less-frightening Tom Waits, and Herbert’s muscular drumming and occasional vocal harmony help to flesh out some of the raw aggression that gives Junkyard Choir its personality. At 11 tracks, Let Sleeping Dogs Lie is a satisfying listen that doesn’t overstay its welcome. The record’s lead-off single “Get it On” has already gotten a little bit of exposure, but the Junkyard Choir have a long road ahead of them – one that their road-tripping, floor-stomping brand of rock is more than capable of taking them down.

The most prevalent sounds on Let Sleeping Dogs Lie are a mix of southern rock and grunge – thick, heavy guitar riffs fight against Herbert’s drum work in what seems like an effort to melt the face off of anyone in the vicinity – songs like “Get it On” and “Sun Moon Stars” pulse with this kind of explosive energy. There are some potent punk moments as well. “Vaya Con Dios,” the record’s power-crazed opener, uses triplets to create a nautical sound not entirely unlike something Dropkick Murphys might record. And while “Sun Moon Stars” dons a title that should notify the listener to the presence of a romantic ballad, the single turns out to be a testosterone-drenched sprint that opens with the lyric “Well I went down into whiskey-drinking/ and it won’t be my end” and uses a swinging rhythm powerful enough to turn any modern punk band green.

Junkyard Choir have an edge on other bands that reach for the rowdy rock and roll sound because for Junkyard Choir it seems to come naturally. Woods’ voice is perfectly built for the type of performance Junkyard Choir puts on. Their attitude and aesthetic seems like it’s actually Junkyard Choir’s way of life – at least according to the video for “Get it On,” which is comprised largely of home and fan videos of Mark and Tom playing music and generally messing around in bars. At the end of the day, Let Sleeping Dogs Lie is a feel-good album for people who like to feel like they’re bad. Put on your leather jacket, light your cigarette, hop in your vintage sports car and let the good times roll.

The Review: 8/10

Can’t Miss Tracks

– Vaya Con Dios
– Get it On
– Let the Good Times Roll
– Hold it Fast
– Sun Moon Stars
– The Wolf

The Big Hit

– Sun Moon Stars

Review by Richard MacDougall

Buy the album: Amazon

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