Cow Punk Masterpiece
Steve Vrana | Aurora, NE | 04/05/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In 1965 the Byrds created folk-rock with a revelatory cover of Bob Dylan's "Mr. Tambourine Man." Nearly twenty years later, Jason & The Scorchers blow the doors off Bob Dylan's "Absolutely Sweet Marie" melding punk swagger with traditional country sensibilities. Their 1984 7-track EP FERVOR was twenty-two minutes of raw energy, and now rereleased with their 1985 full-length album LOST AND FOUND is available for the first time in more than a decade.
Jason & the Scorchers sound owes as much to Hank Williams as it does the Rolling Stones (both artists the Scorchers covered on later releases). Frontman Jason Ringenberg's vocals ranged from the hyper-energy of a track like "I Can't Help Myself" to the honky-tonk pleading of "Pray for Me Mama (I'm a Gypsy Now)."
Like many ground-breaking bands (The Flying Burrito Brothers, The Velvet Underground), their popularity never matched their influence. I was lucky enough to catch Jason & The Scorchers in 2002 when they briefly regrouped to perform a handful of dates. Ringenberg was still a powerful vocalist and lead guitarist Warner Hodges performed like some kind of whirling dervish. They were still as good as ever.
In 1992, EMI first rereleased these two recordings with the title ARE YOU READY FOR THE COUNTRY, adding five bonus tracks, including "Greetings from Nashville," that was originally released as the B-side of "The Golden Ball and Chain" single. The other four were tracks that previously had only been released in the UK, incuding live covers of "Honky Tonk Blues" and "Absolutely Sweet Marie." It would have been nice to see these rare tracks included here, but it's good to see these seminal recordings back in print. [Running Time - 56:47] VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
Simply incredible-Glad it's back
Christoph K. Bennett | United States | 07/09/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I bought Fervor on cassette in 1984 and it hardly ever left my cassette deck. I played it for years until the tape squeals made it unlistenable. Same with Lost & Found. I found Fervor a few years later in the cut-out bin on cassette again. Same thing, played it till it was in ribbons. I've bought the CD combos of these two twice. Once, I lost when I moved. Second, I lent to a friend who had never heard JATS and never got it back. Well, were these songs really worth all that? Oh yes!!! I believe the first 2 JATS releases are the best American rock ever! There isn't a bad song in the bunch, even the slow tunes are great. I honestly can't pick a favorite tune, they're all that good. I do especially like Warner Hodges' solos on "Shop it Around," and Dylan's "Absolutely Sweet Marie." Dylan's version of the song seems rather pedestrian after listening to the Scorchers, well, scorch it. On Fervor, the last song, "Both Sides of the Line," Jason wrote with Michael Stipe from REM, and the guitar has a sound similar to that of U2's Edge, but Warner is way better than the Edge could ever dream to be. I believe that JATS and X are not only the best bands of the 80's, but best American bands ever. As big as alt-country/Americana and "punk" are now, none of the bands playing these styles can hold a candle to these two."
IntheGroove | New Orleans, LA USA | 05/03/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The "Fervor" album was an incredible, though short, venture into the realm of "cowpunk". I wore out the grooves on that LP! Glad to see it revived on CD. The Dylan cover "Absolutely Sweet Marie" and the well-penned "Help, There's a Fire" are stand-outs. The follow-up album, "Lost & Found", had a few gems but was not as wholly enjoyable. Well worth the price to get these 2 on one CD."