No Be An Arsonist
Orlando CityBeat Posted January 11, 2005 ARTIST: The Bludlows ALBUM: No Be An Arsonist (1,000,000 x No Records) 3.5 stars Don't feel bad if you've never heard of this Boston band because hardly anyone in Boston has either. But from deep inside the muddy bowels of the garage rock underground come The Bludlows with a debut album that, despite it's shortcomings, is a genuinely exciting record. Bisected by two distinctive music regimes however, No Be An Arsonist can be a schizophrenic, and therefore somewhat disorienting, affair. The first half of the album is characterized by a primitive and skeletal interpretation of The Stones' bluesy rock, a thing that proves to be bittersweet. Without a doubt, the potential of the concept is enormous and sometimes yields inspired results. Examples include the skronky grit of 'Little Tania' and the whiskey sweat of 'Hate You 'Cause You're Beautiful.' Of the leading hemisphere, the efficient and unassuming beauty of 'Carmen Rojas Blues,' with the sparse twang of it's pedal steel, takes the honor. When the songs lack a winning hook however, the simplicity of their structure and execution seems not so much excitingly raw as it is blandly boorish. Interestingly enough, their unglued praxis takes on a different guise in the latter portion of the record. Here, the slipshod blues-rock gives way to the ragged blockheaded aggression of scuzz-punk. This leg is more consistent in quality because it's where the hooks are tighter and their virtues (e.g. looseness, grit and fury) are given full flight. Even in the company of slop-gems like 'Back to the Grind' and 'Hurt So Bad,' the catchy but coarse rave-up of 'The Hardest Song' earns the crown with the flat distortion of it's loud guitars and meaty progressions. In fact, there are even some passing resemblances to our own blues-punk pride The Hex Tremors. Part Rolling Stones, part Jon Spencer and part Johnny Thunders, No Be An Arsonist is hard evidence of a promising band with astronomical potential. If The Bludlows can tighten up a bit, and I mean the hooks and not the playing, then the garage underground may have it's next big thing. -- Bao Le-Huu, Orlando CityBeat Writer.