Fireworks

The Swampborn Assassins - 'Smell The Mud' Hot

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Written by Central Electronic Brain     August 09, 2017    
 
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Packed with dense and heavy Blues Rock grooves.

What a fabulous title! Possibly alluding to the classic Spinal Tap-ism of 'Smell The Glove', 'Smell The Mud' might not be any blacker, but it certainly can't be any... muddier?

This is a band which sounds like they should be from the deepest, densest American South yet have emerged from the slightly less romantic swamplands of the Bearsden Reservoir on the outskirts of Glasgow. It might not sound unusually Rock and Roll but it sets up an expectation of a raw urban earthiness from the vocals/guitars/drums trio of Li'l Charlie Moffat, "The Right Dishonourable Rev" Davy Nimmo and Stevie "Elmer" Craven. While that may sound a little musically light, the inclusion of Alf Vesterlev and Tommy Granli of The Maudlin Hounds and pulling in some favours from friends, including Tony Mills (Shy) and Chris Glen (Michael Schenker Group and Sensational Alex Harvey Band), saw the initial target of recording an EP develop into a full scale album project.

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Their addition adds the sauce to the meat and veg sonic core of The Swampborn Assassins resulting in a production which is, as someone once said, meaty, beaty, big and bouncy. Add to that a beefy and bassy quality and you have a set packed with dense and heavy Blues Rock grooves that kicks off with the tone setting sassy Bluesy stomp of 'Out In The Rain'; played at 45rpm it might even resemble a Motörhead track.

Some of the observant might spot the similarity of the familiar riff of the 'Peter Gunn' theme making an appearance in 'Never Ever Never' as the squealing guitars continue their dueling with the harmonica wails. Yes, it's not a new sound but done with all the drive and enthusiasm of a fresh band for who it feels like a new departure. And so 'Smell The Mud' continues; the catchy hooks of 'Walk Tall', a distorted vocal effect on 'Crawl' and then for something which doesn't follow the tried and trusted, the tense atmosphere of the title track and the dramatic tolling bell opening (they do like their sound effects) of 'Clara Belle Lee'.

Taken at a slower Blues tempo, they provide a contrast with the tongue in cheekiness of the single 'The Gator Hole', which in essence pretty much sums up a debut album which flows very much like the archetypal old picture in a fresh frame.

Mike Ainscoe

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