It’s a combination as musically pleasing as it is downright sweaty and dirty. The punk of the Ramones and the twang of Billy Joe Shaver and the writing of Steve Earle. Dallas’ The Von Ehrics are so back and so badder than ever.
Their 2009 album, Loaded, was indeed loaded with peddle-to-the-metal “punktry”, and their blistering new album, Two Foot Stomp (from Lucky Buck Records), is even more so. One of the remarkable aspects of the new record is in the way that the band can scrape and thrash their way through a song yet the tune’s melody is as evident and pleasing as one could possibly hope for, in any type of song, let alone a raucous punk tune. “The Last of The Working Slobs” is a prime example of The Von Ehrics’ keen sense of melody in the midst of madness. For those who may be wondering just how country a punk band can be, look no further than “Smokewagon” for your proof.
While the Robert Jason Vandygriff-led outfit (that’s been together for a decade now) boasts original tunes that stand on their own, the band has an excellent ear for which tunes to cover on their offerings. Hayes Carll’s “Down the Road Tonight,” from his album Little Rock (the album that many people should listen to once they’re done with Carll’s more recent Lost Highway releases) makes for a I-can’t-believe-this-hasn’t-been-covered-before-by-a-punk-band moment. Another cover on the album, a version of Tanya Tucker’s FM Gold classic tune “Texas (When I Die),” could’ve been turned into an ironic, jokey tune, but these guys just let it rip and let the song be what it is, naturally. On their last album, the band covered Shaver’s “Old Chunk of Coal,” proving that timeless country tunes are indeed timeless, regardless of what sonic blaket they’re wrapped in.
The band will be touring the country in the coming months and of course, will be all over Texas, with July stops in Dallas and Ft. Worth, especially.