The Tremolo Beer Gut
You Can’t Handle….The Tremolo Beer Gut
4 out of 5 stars
If you were to listen to just one Danish instrumental, Spaghetti Western, surf band influenced by Dick Dale, Duane Eddy and Ennio Morricone, who has been intermittently making music since 1998, make it The Tremolo Beer Gut.
That’s the capsule bio of this relatively obscure outfit who has only recorded four albums in its 23 year history. This new fifth release arrives 13 years after their previous studio set, but little has changed in the foursome’s attack in that extended interim. That will sit just fine for fans who have patiently waited for a follow up to the equally in-your-face title of Nous Sommes The Tremolo Beer Gut, Qyi Le F**K Etes-Vous? (2008), which you can probably translate even without a working knowledge of French.
It’s another sweltering slab of tremolo and reverb soaked retro rocking that could have been recorded sometime in the ‘60s. A few like-minded friends also appear, such as Jon Spencer and wife Cristina Martinez, who add flirtatious, one word vocals to what is accurately termed the “surf ‘n Western” vibe of “Hey Hello.” That’s also a reasonable description of all 16 entries. But rather than just aping their obvious influences, the Gut guys write tight and tough originals, altering the guitar sounds from the thick echoed twang of Dale to the sharper, edgier sonic blade of artists like Tom Verlaine.
Things ease up occasionally for the sweeter, less vicious Latin groove of “Caipirinha River Cruise” and the noir blues of the appropriately named relaxed dance of “Date at the Slow Club.” But generally the attitude is more aggressive as selections such as “Inferno (I Just Called to Say),” the spy flick infused “Codename Tremstar” and the sci-fi inflected “Planet Urf!” keep the momentum vibrating. Gut couldn’t get through a new release without paying tribute to Link Wray, arguably the father of the group’s sound, which is accomplished with the over-driven “The Tremolo Death Wray.” All these tracks zip past without any lag, nothing is over four minutes and the majority don’t even break three.
Certainly devotees of Los Straitjackets, something of the American version of The Tremolo Beer Gut, will eat this up and fans of Joe Bonamassa’s 2020 instrumental side project The Sleep Eazys will also flock for a spot at the Gut band’s table. It’s refreshing to hear musicians this talented dive into music they love without a hint of self-consciousness or pretension and, as you can tell by their album titles which include The Inebriated Sounds of The Tremolo Beer Gut, a tummy filling sense of self-deprecating humor.
Light up the Tiki torches and let the Gut take care of the rest…if you can handle it.