Oct 3, 2016

Album Review: James Leg - Blood on the Keys

A review by Robert Dean

For today’s review, I’m going cold turkey. The head honcho, the Trailerparkman himself, sent me this here James Leg guy’s new record. In an effort toward compelling journalism, I’m going to abstain from Googling if Ol’ James here has other records, or if he’s in any bands* I might know. As it stands, I am currently unfamiliar with James Leg and his new record, Blood on The Keys. For your reading pleasure, I’m gonna break down every track on the record. Figure let’s mix it up.
Update: I just jammed the fuck OUT to the record’s first track, Human Lawn Dart. This is some good stuff. Like, really, really good. It’s like if Tom Waits smoked some major Kush and played a juice harp. It’s hyped up, drugged out but not lame and too overtly psychedelic. It’s got enough Stooges going on to keep it rock and roll.
Track 2, Hugging the Line is more straight forward. It’s a frantic foot stomper and hand clapper. I like songs like this live because one can only assume by this dude’s Lemmy stache’ he goes hard in the paint.
Mighty Man is pretty indie-rockish with the obvious Tom Waits vocal thing going on, but it’s a lighthearted swing.
St. Michael Shuffle has a different vibe than the previous tracks. It feels like a drunk hotel bar musician going haywire. It feels like a cheap suit and cowboy boots, or spilling a drink on a man and then fighting in him the bathroom.
I’ll Take It is pretty mellow. Wasn’t feeling it. Skipped it. I like this dude when he’s playing fast and getting weird. This was too focused and ballad-y. I’m all about this dude’s party tunes, not his bummers.
Track six, Ain’t You Hungry sounds like a Scorsese fight scene or someone driving on a highway coked out of their skulls. Maybe someone having a blurry, drunken night at the bar and they wake up in a pool of someone else’s blood and with strange money in their pockets.
Dogjaw sounds like it was written about or in Austin, Texas. It’s a snotty bar room preacher of a jammer -definitely one of the better tracks on the record. Think the guitar from Magic Carpet Ride meets early ZZ Top.
Tao Te Leg was a little too 80’s synth for me. It’s cool enough, I guess, but kinda like if Dire Straights wanted to play in dive bars instead of Mark Knopfler ripping your head off with his badassery. (Side convo: when’s the last time you jammed some Dire Fuckin’ Straits? You probably need to.)
Blood on the Keys is one of those Nick Cave gospel-sounding deals. I skipped it.
Should’ve Been Home With You was a better song than the aforementioned Blood on The Keys. Feels like a revocation, a reckoning. This is a good song to close it out with. It’s approximately Tom Waits without coming off lame.
Overall, I’d say this James Leg fella has a solid record on his hands. If you’re looking for a great piece of music to have on while cooking or drinking some beers while working on your car, I’d say this one was worth picking up. It’s not a party record, but instead, it’s a single record to get lost with instead of using it as social bait. Give Blood on The Keys a shot. Leave us some tweets, let us know what you think.  

Blood on the Keys is available on iTunes, Amazon, etc.
*Black Diamond Heavies, per Trailer

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