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February 22, 2024

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Big John Bates
Mistiki (Devil Sauce Recordings)

By: Mark A. Lawrence the IV

With the smell of Gasoline and the sound of engines revving, Big John Bates comes barreling off the line with the album Mistiki, a brawling mix of Rockabilly fused with surf elements. Bates sings like a mad scientist pieced him together in the light of arching transistors from parts of Elvis, James Dean, and Vincent Price. The way he pulls the sound out of his guitar on songs like "Shotgun Shack"and "Psycho Garage Blues" is near amazing as if the ghosts of six sting outlaws have taken control of his body. "Take it Off" is a ghost town jazz tune with the haunting howls of lost souls and their cover of Soft Cell's "Tainted Love" is an awesome re-envisioning that stays close enough to the original so to bring up old memories and give them a new dark twist. As for the out of this world bass work of Scare-Oline, I think I'm in love with this High Priestess of the Low End. Her amazing groove on "38 Caliber Divorce" and the bass foundation she lays down on "Bad Girls Go To Hell" can hold up a stampeding herd of elephants. The way she makes her bass talk leaves me light-headed and all excited. This is a great album and a fun listen with all the players bringing their best to the table. As for Miss Scare-Oline, she has left the flat wound stings of my heart humming. Rating: A
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