Sunday January 21st 2018

Tenafly Vipers – “Black Bandana and a Can of Gasoline”

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Tenafly Vipers – “Black Bandana and a Can of Gasoline”

 

The Tenafly Vipers play it like I like my whiskey. Hard, smooth and with a kick. With their sound they mangle metal by the neck until its beaten unconscious into submission. They straddle the boundaries of punk, metal, hardcore and hard rock and pummel all descriptions to smithereens. It’s just an onslaught of pure, awesome, aggressive audio supremacy.

I light a cigarette at the bar. This blonde dame to the right keeps snatching quick glimpses of me then demurely turning her head to the side. This five song CD is playing on the jukebox as I drain my Scotch and order another one. I ask what’s she having, and she says, “I’ve had enough. And when I say that I mean you. I’ve had it all from the likes of you!”

The first song playing is “Redemption Lost,” which sounds like an attack of killer guitars while the singer bellows in a plea, for redemption, for a reprieve. It slashes, it scorches, it burns, it ignites a flame that penetrates into your soul.

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I offer her a cigarette but she declines. The waitresses are whirling around the joint like a flock of birds. Yes, I know; that’s what they call them in England. “Listen Toots,” I say, “I’m not looking for any hard time. I’m just a P.I. on a case trying to pass the time. And that’s a lovely necklace, by the way.”

The next song playing is “John Fucking Wayne,” and you may not know but he was the actor and icon of macho maleness for many decades past. Here the sound disintegrates his image with fits of passion, with sound em-blazed into the side of your head as the crushing guitars, thundering drums and beckoning vocals lure you in.

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“I’m sorry,” she says, “You just remind me of someone…of someone I should have forgotten about, someone I should have forgotten about before I even knew them. It’s all right, though- good looks are not a crime.”

The next number is ”Ballad Of The Cell Block Cowboy.” This is a ballad in only the dreams of the desperate, the actions of the lost, in the mind of a prisoner a few moments before the switch on the electric chair is thrown. Or right before a car hits the guardrail and the gas tank explodes.

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“If good looks were a crime,” I tell her, “You’d be sentenced to the electric chair.” We chat a bit as the smoke billows towards the ceiling fans. The martini glasses clink and the sounds of the music and chatter bounce off the sides of the club.

“Night Rider” is a song with slashing guitar that could be a Motorhead tune until it crashes into an emphatic, melodic but aggressive chant of terror and passion. Into the night the band goes on a wild, joyride with sounds of gravel being crushed under tire, perceptions being crushed by sound and life being enveloped with a lustful, maniacal, passionate belief.

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I help her on with her stole as we’re about to leave the nightclub. No more words are spoken as we both know what’s about to happen next.

I have a few more words about this CD, though no more words need to be spoken. Do they? The songs speak for themselves.

This is power, passion, pulverizing the insides of your eardrums, the insides of your soul, the very insides of your being.

Will you let it in?

Will she invite me in?

I hope she does.

I think you should.

 

(Slimedog)

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