Straight Edge - Wasted -. Skulls - I Don't Care - The Shah Sleeps in Lee Harvey's Grave - God Save the Queen - Beef Bologna - Six Pack (To Go) - Ha Ha Ha - Immigrant Song / Pay to Cum - Love Me Like a Reptile - Step On It - It's a Long Way Back - Let's Lynch the Landlord
When a music act records an album of cover songs, their effort usually suffers by comparison. It doesn’t matter how successful the group may be or how technically polished their sound is. Inevitably, the new tunes end up lacking that certain something, a spark that makes their predecessor far superior.
At least, that’s what I thought, until the Whiskey Daredevils came along.
Old Favorites is an appropriate name for the Whiskey Daredevils’ third release. Although an album of punk standards and classic rock cover tunes, the Daredevils have successfully reshaped each number into their own unique brand of rock ‘n’ roll. The disc’s first track, a remake of the Circle Jerks’ “Wasted”, is a perfect exhibition of the Whiskey Daredevils’ cowpunkabilly hybrid sound. Imagine Marty Robbins using the Ramones for his backing band and you get the idea. A redo of the Misfits’ “Skulls” showcases lead singer Greg Miller’s plaintive vocal in front of a somewhat relaxed tempo (for these guys, anyway), while “Beef Balogna”, a raunchy rocker, drips in enough filth to make one feel the need to take a shower after listening to it.
“God Save the Queen”, a mellow, Spanish guitar-backed version of the Sex Pistols classic, is one of the album’s hidden gemsand a song that I overlooked in my initial listen-to. Simplistic yet intricate in its delivery, this rendition took me back to a time when I frequently attended flamenco performances at a Spanish restaurant in Scottsdale, Arizona. I could imagine Anna, a tall, dark-complected beauty, clapping and dancing with the Daredevils playing in the background.
On opposite ends of the musical spectrum, the Whiskey Daredevils give Hank Thompson & Black Flag’s “Six Pack to Go” the lounge act treatmentand, in the process, make lounge music enjoyablewhile also displaying their versatility with “Ha Ha Ha”. I love this version of the Flipper number. It’s loud, it’s bawdy and it’s just plain fun.
“I Don’t Care” combines the punk rock credohence the titlewith blues-heavy guitar, making this rendition of the Black Flag classic one of my favorite songs on the album, while “Immigrant Song/Pay To Cum” claims the honor of best song on the disc. The loud punk mash-up of Led Zeppelin’s immortal “Immigrant Song” and Bad Brains’ punk standard features great guitar work from Bobby Lanphier and Dave Bowling. When you pop a copy of Old Favorites into your CD player, make sure that “Immigrant Song/Pay To Cum” is the first track you listen to.
From the Butthole Surfers to Slapshot to Motorhead, from the obscure to the infamous, each artist whose work is represented on Old Favorites is given the proper tribute by the Whiskey Daredevils. Whether it’s rockabilly, pure country, punk or classic rock ‘n’ roll, the Whiskey Daredevils can do it all…and Old Favorites is the proof.