Review Summary: An absolute gem of early 90’s Southern Rock. Please don’t call it glam as beneath the horrible opening track and 80’s aesthetics lies an incredible album that all rock fans should listen to at least once.
Southgang is a band that you most likely have never heard of. This is a bad thing, it really is. Their first album (self titled Southgang) was a decent rock album very much in the vein of bands like Danger Danger, Bang Tango and the less radio friendly side of Skid Row. Slightly southern twang meets 80’s glam riffs and imagery. After recording their first record their label sent them on an extensive overseas tour. They came back to record an absolutely killer record in 1992. Sadly, changing tides in music led to an early demise for their chances at stardom.
Lead by its most famous member (indie darling Butch Walker) the boys from Rome, Georgia dish out 11 songs full of great hooks, excellent musicianship and some catchy lyrics. Track 1 is the only area this record stumbles. White Trash With Cash
sounds like something that was leftover from their previous record (maybe a request from their label for a radio friendly single) and is completely out of place here. Your first time listening through, you may even be apt to relegate this one to the bargain bin. You would be quite remiss if you did. After the horrible opener you are led into 11 tracks of stunning rock and roll.
From the acoustic opening lines of Fire In Your Body
to the haunting ballad Final Resting Place
the tracks flow seamlessly. Equal parts 70’s southern swagger mixed with 80’s rock sensibilities create an excellent listening experience. The combination track of The Call
are an absolute treasure. They start with a slow acoustic buildup over roughly 4 minutes of The Call
and then absolutely destroy you when the song continues as Misery
. It really is one of those tracks that would fit in no matter what the current trend in music is.
Rounding out the record are a few other great songs that work well in their own right, but downright kick ass flowing from one track to the next. My Best Friends Girl
gives you an early taste of Butch and his song writing abilities and the album closes with a great instrumental.
Beyond the failure that is the opening cut, which beyond other mitigating factors may have put this album in an early grave the rest is unadulterated sonic perfection. Given the low distribution and popularity of their work, this was quite a rare disc for many years. It behooves you to check this one out at least once.
Water Under the Bridge
My Best Friends Girl
Needs to be cut:
White Trash With Cash