Straight 8s | Record Review | Indy Week
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Straight 8s 

Never Return to Me...
(Rock N Roll Purgatory)

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Rockabilly's reputation is built on a primal sound that's equal parts raw energy, skittering guitar, accelerated-heartthump rhythm and the clinking of longneck beer bottles. It's the musical equivalent of a high-speed chase, albeit one that lasts only a few miles. On their new Never Return to Me..., Hillsborough's Straight 8s have songs that fit that mold to a tee—one, no doubt, with sleeves rolled up. The album-capping "Go-Go Juice," an ode to home-brewing high-octane fuel, is a classic example. And with its auto-centric message, it also hits one of rockabilly's three main themes: cars (the other two being girls and faster cars).

But the trio also wanders freely outside the prescribed boundaries, slipping the bonds of tyrannical purism known to plague rockabilly. The Straight 8s wear such versatility well with the record's three instrumentals. Depending on whether the guitar of band leader and main writer Robert Striegler is set to twangy or atmospheric, they can sound like a surf band or—to quote Canadian instrumentalists Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet— "We're not a fucking surf band." But the 8s are at their best when melody meets rhythm halfway on charmers like "I Wanna Know" and "Baby, Baby, Baby!", which owe more to the Everly Brothers and golden age country music than they do purebilly. There's nothing charming, however, about "On Your Knees"; it's off-putting to hear that titular demand backed by the band at its most aggressive. Skip that one and play "Baby, Baby, Baby!" twice instead.

The Straight 8s are at Hideaway BBQ Friday, Dec. 14, with the Tremors. The show starts at 9:30 p.m. and costs $10.

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Where is the Q and A with Pepper?

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There's bass in this. It's not a duo, at least in the recordings. …

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Most Recent Comments

Where is the Q and A with Pepper?

by Alex Marsh on Record Review: Hardcore Titans Corrosion of Conformity Bring Pepper Keenan Back Into the Fold (Record Review)

There's bass in this. It's not a duo, at least in the recordings. …

by Steve Grothmann on Record Review: Raleigh's Naked Naps Explore Urgency on Year of the Chump (Record Review)

Remember that time the "journalist" took to the comments section to fire off a snarky response when called out on …

by JayDubz on Record Review: Raleigh's Naked Naps Explore Urgency on Year of the Chump (Record Review)

Pretty sure that if the press release we received had mentioned Chris Grubbs, the article would have reflected that crucial …

by David Klein on Record Review: Raleigh's Naked Naps Explore Urgency on Year of the Chump (Record Review)

Pretty sure John Meier hasn't been in this band for quite some time and Chris Grubbs wrote and recorded this …

by JayDubz on Record Review: Raleigh's Naked Naps Explore Urgency on Year of the Chump (Record Review)

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