Thursday, June 11, 2015
Cassette Review: Cox Johnson "The Devil Aint' Done Yet" (Merica "Records")
[$5 // Edition of 21 // https://mericarecords.bandcamp.com/album/the-devil-aint-done-yet]
The music of Cox Johnson is in a genre I have become familiar with and yet don't know the name for exactly, if a name for it even does exist. It's not folk punk, but there are guitars that are between acoustic and electric and it actually sounds like an acoustic guitar plugged in through an amp. There is a certain amount of soul which comes out in the vocals when he sings certain lines and then at other times he just belts it out in a screaming way.
It's that "Eternal Cowboy" era Against Me! mixed with Two Gallants and, yes, this needs a proper genre name but I'm fairly certain that it doesn't have one. It goes from punk to hints of that classic rock drive ala Steppenwolf. I also can hear some of The Doors coming out, as I want the next line of lyrics to be "Let it roll, baby, roll". For a more modern comparison I also can think of this as being somewhat related to Zach Bryson, so let's get all of these sort of country but not punk artists together and see if they can form their own genre name.
Lyrically, the subjects go from everything stemming from a woman that came straight from Hell and God won't even say her name to crack cocaine. At times, it seems more angry than anything else, as the songs have that blues feeling where they seem to be about loss, regret and just how things tend to change overall with the passing of time. I guess the blues and country are somewhat related in that sense, but this does feel more like the blues than country for whatever those little, slight differences might be.
Overall, there are a handful or so of other artists out there making this sort of gritty, raw, acoustic punk rock mixed with country and/or blues sound that I find myself comparing with one specific Against Me! album and Two Gallants. It definitely needs a better name than my simply comparing it to these other artists, but Cox Johnson is doing it rather well and with a vengeance it would seem also. So if you are a fan of any of the other artists I might have compared with Against Me! and Two Gallants or just those two artists themselves, you will find something to like in this uproarious cassette by Cox Johnson.