My Friend The Murderer - Dan Brodie and The Grieving Widows (Beast Records)
Onetime Australian alt.country poster boy Dan Brodie has taken the low road. One wheel's scraping against the gutter on "My Friend The Murderer" and it makes the ride more interesting.
"My Friend…" is 11 straight-up rock and roll tirades delivered by a basic trio that's occasionally supplemented by sax. Brodie's highly-strung vocal suits the songs to a tee. He is pissed off beyond belief, spitting out lyrics like these:
I hope that your end is a fucking disgrace
With your pants round your ankles and blue in the face
With a belt round your neck and a plug up your arse
The let's-get-fucked-up anthem of "I Gotta Get Up (So I Can Get Down)" that opens the album sets a scene and it's a place Brodie and his Widows don't seem in a hurry to leave. "Cold Hearted Hater" and "My The Friend The Murderer" continue the dirty blues rants. It's all delivered with a sharp and edgy effectiveness. Brodie has turned his back on his major label history and takes aim at a lot of people who wronged him along the way. They remain nameless but you're left in no doubt that Brodie would like to do them harm.
As well as brother Chris Brodie on bass, the Widows ranks include the powerhouse Dave Nicholls on drums. Sharp ears will know him from Ian Rilen and the Love Addicts and Spencer P Jones' band. The guy's one monstrous player.
The sum effect is not unlike "Beat 'Em Up", the bottom-heavy, '90s Iggy Pop album that threatened to rip itself a new arsehole. Unlike that record, "My Friend..." leaves enough light to shine a pinpoint through the dark. And yes, it took a French label to put it out on deliciously thick vinyl.