With the opening thunder of galloping horses and the dripping swirl of chorused-out guitars, there is never a doubt where this album is going. If what emanates from the speakers doesn't give you a clue, the warning label might: "Should not be used while driving. May cause psychedelic experiences." I tested this theory in my Toyota Corolla and found that although my experience lacked psychedelic trappings, such as a talking painting of a spirit cat riding shotgun, there is an overall groovy and carefree sound that is more otherworldly than dangerous.
The second track, "Clear Blue Skies," is anything but dangerous; in fact, it's nearly pop rock perfection, with Greg Allman-esque piano and a surfeit of guitar soloing. Fans of local music will instantly recognize this as a Ryan "Schmed" Maynes production. It flourishes. It has depth. It's shamelessly poppy. Until it isn't.
Tracks like the spiraling "Lonesome" and the creepy country of "Trailer King" are more akin to the Butthole Surfers than power hippy pop. "Johnys," an ode to all the musicians gone to heaven, is a grand and funny tribute to good musicians long gone, demonstrating just how the Voodoo Horseshoes do that voodoo that they do so well.
Voodoo Horseshoes plays at the Roxy Twin Theater in Hamilton Fri., Dec. 2, at 7 PM. $5. The band plays the Dark Horse Bar Sat., Dec. 3 at 9 PM. Free.