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Dirty Spliff Blues [Digipak] *
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  • Personnel: Freddy J IV (vocals, guitar, organ); Joe Bent (vocals, unknown instrument); Pete Dio (drums, percussion).
  • Audio Mixer: Jim Diamond .
  • Recording information: Off The Cuff Sound, Fort Wayne, Indiana.
  • Photographer: Joel Faurote.
  • Things Left Lane Cruiser like: The blues. The boogie. Big amps. Distortion pedals. Booze. Women who, ahem, make friends easily. And marijuana. Actually, scratch that last one -- these guys don't like reefer, they love it, going so far as to print a big green leaf (you know the kind) on their latest CD, which they've fittingly titled Dirty Spliff Blues. You can practically feel the cannabis resin dripping off the wall while listening to this album, which is even bigger, louder, and dirtier that much of Left Lane Cruiser's previous work, if only because they're expanded from a two-piece into a trio with the addition of Joe Bent, who plays bass and an electrified skateboard fixed up with guitar strings, while Freddy J IV is still wailing hard on guitar and lead vocals and new drummer Pete Dio beats his traps with impressive timing, muscle, and commitment. Left Lane Cruiser have never been a band that tried to reinvent the wheel, and on Dirty Spliff Blues they stick to what they do best, playing blues changes with all the noise and volume they can muster and with a commitment to the heavy that they've managed to separate from the metal. That said, the new lineup does deliver more energy than this band had conjured on its past few albums, and Freddy J IV hits hard, as if he has something to prove with this new edition of the group, and when he pays homage to the pleasures of weed (on the title track), women ("Heavy Honey" and "All Damn Day," the latter featuring a gal with a hiney so fine it could end the war in the Middle East), and wild living ("Elephant Stomp" and "Cutting Trees"), he sure sounds like he means business. It's not quite a masterpiece, but Dirty Spliff Blues is as good an exercise in bong-infused blues as Left Lane Cruiser have delivered in a while, and if you want to keep the neighbors awake and have a good time doing it, this will do just fine. ~ Mark Deming
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