12 Songs, 35 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

A genuine craziness courses through the grooves of Dig Thy Savage Soul, blowing away fears that Barrence Whitfield might have mellowed with time. This veteran master of primal R&B and his garage-rocking comrades go for broke on every track, stirring up echoes of Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, Hasil Adkins, and the early Stooges along the way. Whitfield’s voice is truly a thing of wonder here—he screams, growls, and snarls his way through songs of love and lunacy with a conviction that’s both thrilling and frightening. Peter Greenberg’s raw yet supple guitar work and Tom Quartulli’s blistering sax solos are likewise outstanding, skirting the edge of chaos without losing their rough-hewn finesse. Tracks like “The Corner Man,” “Daddy’s Gone to Bed," and “Oscar Levant” are barely controlled outbursts of musical violence, blending shards of Memphis soul and classic rockabilly with a healthy dollop of punk. The band veers into surf rock on “Blackjack” and adds some gutbucket swing to “Hey Little Girl.” “Sugar” (a masochistic rave-up) and “I’m Sad About It” (a tormented lovelorn ballad) give Whitfield the sort of overheated lyrics that perfectly suit his maniacal style.

EDITORS’ NOTES

A genuine craziness courses through the grooves of Dig Thy Savage Soul, blowing away fears that Barrence Whitfield might have mellowed with time. This veteran master of primal R&B and his garage-rocking comrades go for broke on every track, stirring up echoes of Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, Hasil Adkins, and the early Stooges along the way. Whitfield’s voice is truly a thing of wonder here—he screams, growls, and snarls his way through songs of love and lunacy with a conviction that’s both thrilling and frightening. Peter Greenberg’s raw yet supple guitar work and Tom Quartulli’s blistering sax solos are likewise outstanding, skirting the edge of chaos without losing their rough-hewn finesse. Tracks like “The Corner Man,” “Daddy’s Gone to Bed," and “Oscar Levant” are barely controlled outbursts of musical violence, blending shards of Memphis soul and classic rockabilly with a healthy dollop of punk. The band veers into surf rock on “Blackjack” and adds some gutbucket swing to “Hey Little Girl.” “Sugar” (a masochistic rave-up) and “I’m Sad About It” (a tormented lovelorn ballad) give Whitfield the sort of overheated lyrics that perfectly suit his maniacal style.

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