I was there….in the beginning….Howlin’ Andy Hound’s last breath before their transformation….Back when Andy was doing the “Thee Kiss And Tells” thing, and playing keyboards for Flim Flam Man…..I remember.
It was Mayslacks and the band consisted of Jacques Wait on bass, Travis “Smack” Ramen on the skins and low-fi genius Andy Kereakos, aka The Hound on guitar and mouth. I was getting ready to produce a vinyl compilation of local bands called “The Tundra Sessions” at the time, and his band along with eight others would be sharing the grooves (but that’s another story in itself). He wanted me to list the trio as Howlin’ Andy Hound on the record, to be documented on vinyl as such. A fitting goodbye for the rockin’ canine legend.
When I recieved his song submission I realized that this was a different kind of song. It was a lot heavier and had a slower, sludgier groove…..I knew he was onto something. This was like Black Sabbath meets Grand Funk meets Jon Spencer meets…….sumfukinthing?
It has the edge of a straight razor, the solemn gloom of the ocean floor, and the warmth of a brownie fresh out of the oven. Much like the Sabs, it carries a lot of ultra catchy vocal lines within their melody black.
It wasn’t just a one shot deal, either. It was one right after another. Riff after riff. Song after song. Record after record. Show after show. A wave of creative juice rushed over them and then played on.
Wake Up And Die Right is the first “official” release for the Blood Shot after The Tundra Sessions comp. Some rippers from that album include “Towards The Sky”, “Bell Ringer”, and a killer take of James Gang’s immortal rock anthem “The Bomber”.
This full length features a different lineup as well as the band’s name change. The Blood Shot was born! This time in addition to Andy there was Guy Low on bass and Jay Zweiffel on drums. Perhaps a bit more restrained of an album than their next, “Straight Up,” which saw other changes in personnel. The departure of Guy Low and the addition of Ouija Radio’s Joe Ulvi on bass and Dave Senn on rhythm guitar make up the “Straight Up” team. Though just the cover alone is disturbing enough to intrigue the interest of an unsuspecting listener with it’s deer/ cow/ horse head thing with two (loaded) hypedermic needles plunged into either side of it.
The inside art, however, is more subdued, sporting a mock inside gatefold of Deep Purple’s classic “Machine Head” that follows the original design pretty damn well. The album contains a nice take of “Forever My Queen”, that was originally written and performed by ‘70’s heavies Pentagram. There is a barn burner called “Crawling Across The Killing Floor” on there and alternate versions of “Bellringer” and “Runnin’ And Gunnin’ You Down”.
A bunch of indie live and studio DIY projects followed. I still try and see them perform when I get a chance and if any metal head, hard rock, stoner, doom, punkish, whateverhead wants to see a great show, check ‘em out. They are the Black Sabbathiest band in the Twin Cities. They’re the shit, man…The real deal!!