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Thursday, March 13 • 12:00am - 12:30am
The Dexateens

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Dexateens Hardwire Healing Few bands can kick-up as much grimy, no-nonsense rock & roll dust as The Dexateens, the Tuscaloosa, Alabama band whose gritty, high-octane mix of classic Southern rock and punk panache has left fans fumbling towards the bar for another shot since its formation in ‘98. As the story goes, the Dexateens first started setting them up and knocking them down when frontman/guitarist Elliott McPherson and drummer Craig Pickering (better known to friends and drinking buddies as “Sweet Dog”) started jamming together in the football-crazy, Alabama college town following their respective splits from earlier groups, the Phoebes and Verga. After rounding out the Dexateens line-up with guitarist John Smith (American Cosmic) and bassist Matt Patton (Model Citizen), the band cut its teeth with some early shows with fellow Alabama noise renegades the Quadrajets and some early, though later discarded, recording sessions with Bruce Watson of the Mississippi-blues label Fat Possum Records. Those experiences and experiments quickly proved that the Dexateens were more than just another alt.country act, with the band drawing comparisons to such artists as Neil Young & Crazy Horse, Mountain, and Lynyrd Skynyrd -- as well as Blue Oyster Cult, the Misfits, and the Minutemen. When it came time to record the Dexateens’ first proper album, the boys from Alabama got down and dirty with Texas punksmith Tim Kerr (Monkeywrench), who went on to helm both of the Dexateens’ first two LPs, the 2004 eponymous debut and 2005’s sophomore effort, Red Dust Rising. The albums were a magnificent showcase for the raw sound and glory of the Dexateens, from McPherson’s gravel-throated drawl and Smith’s stinging guitar lines, to the driving rumble of Patton and Sweet Dog’s locomotive rhythm section. The Dexateens’ powerful and punk-tinged concoctions – and raucous concerts -- earned the band a place alongside the so-called “Next Wave” of classic Yank rockers, a roster that also includes Lucero, the Drive-By Truckers, Slobberbone, American Princes and Centro-matic, amongst others. Now the Dexateens return with its third album, Hardwire Healing (due out in January), an LP that finds the band further honing its drinking-class, barroom-siftin’ rhythm & blues with the help of co-producers David Barbe (Sugar, Mercyland) and Patterson Hood (Drive-By Truckers). Recorded in the college rock mecca of Athens, Georgia, the Dexateens found themselves further seasoning the band’s cutting brand of jaw-dropping and ear-splitting vintage-minded rock & roll. “This record might be a little less raw,” McPherson explained of Hardwire Healing, “but that’s more to do with how we assembled the songs this time around. It’s still heavy, we just took more time to think it out and record it. The songs were there, we just went about getting it all together a little differently than before.” “And when you have people like David [Barbe] and Patterson [Hood] working with you,” Sweet Dog added of the sessions, “a lot of great ideas get tossed out, passed around and worked on. That just took the new record to a whole new level.” Part of that new level included the addition of new guitarist Nicolaus Mimikakis, who joined the Dexateens in-time for the Hardwire Healing sessions and now gives the band an even heavier and more spacious three-axe attack. It doesn’t take long for the Dexateens to reach some heady new heights on Hardwire Healing, with the crunchy opening track “Naked Ground” propelling the band upwards and outwards into the rockin’ blues stratosphere. The band also drops the heavy riffs on such cuts as “Maker’s Mound,” before downshifting through the breezily acoustic “Freight Train.” And there’s no denying the sly R&B groove of “Somethings,” a song that finds the Dexateens sweetly cooing and crooning, ala the Rolling Stones’ “Beast of Burden.” Of course, the Rolling Stones spent a huge chunk of the early and mid-‘70s – and quite a number of brain cells -- trying to tap into and capture the same kind of bluesy, Muscle Shoals sound on its classic run of LPs from Sticky Fingers to Black & Blue. For the Dexateens, it’s a wee bit easier. All the boys from Alabama have to do is turn on the amps and rip into the songs, and everything that the Stones were seeking to reap becomes immediately evident in the Dexateens’ sonic stew. Rock & roll Tide, indeed.

Thursday March 13, 2008 12:00am - 12:30am CDT
Habana Annex 708 E 6th St

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