The plodding pot-rock played by Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats is not where one goes for a whole lot of rock and roll innovation. It's an incredibly tried, true, tested, re-tested and re-tested again kind of formula that has its roots somewhere around Birmingham, fewer than 100 miles west of Uncle Acid's hometown of Cambridge, England. The formula goes roughly like this: Assemble band, preferably with folks who are fully competent players ("hot dogging" or any Satriani-esque shredding is absolutely not part of the deal). Get a good singer (the more banshee-like the croon, the better). Make sure hair is long (stringy, a plus) and invest in denim wardrobe if band does not already own it. Develop fascination with dark side of the Summer of Love (Altamont, Mansons, etc.) and the occult. Write a crop of songs. The songs should closely resemble each other—your fan base will be stoked about this—and in the spirit of the genre, each song should essentially be a riff. Or, maybe each song is more of a strip mine, set up around a churning, repetitious riff, with bridges, choruses and lyrics and all the rest.
And if you think I'm damning them with faint praise, I'm not at all. They are intentionally and carefully following a formula and delivering a strong product. On albums like last year's Night Creeper, the band has provided a near perfect execution of what a lot of folks really want from their music. Sonically it's loaded with great vintage sounds, fuzz tones and flawless recording. I struggle a little to get terribly excited for this kind of music, but I like Sabbath enough to give their children a decent chance on the stage.
Uncle Acid play the Top Hat Wed., Sept 21. Doors at 7 PM, show at 8. $18/$16 advance.