||DeVilled CD (2011) |
Southside Stranglers albums The title "Best Of All Time" has been uttered and written about countless bands, yet the phrase has never been used on one group so much as Oshkosh Wisconsin's Southside Stranglers. This fact is largely due to their own repetitive use of the tag in self description. Delusional? Perhaps. Intent on convincing others? Absolutely!
Local music enthusiasts might recognize the Southside Stranglers from prior projects including, The Lost Toothbrushes, COW, Cookie Bug, Redhorse, Gomer Pyle Driver, The Santa Monica Playboys, Fantastic Planets, VonTrapps and The Willis. Then again, you might not. Historically the members were content in supportive roles, providing harmonies and rhythm. In the relative meaningless of "hierarchy" in a local music scene there was little interest in being on top. Dean, Jesse, Dan and Eric were, if nothing else, humble.
History aside, the attitude has changed. Humility aside, the Southside Stranglers are really quite fond of themselves. Sure, the band might be the product of a dormant Napoleon complex that affects all 2nd guitarists, bass players and drummers. Or maybe the band is more akin to a depth charge, strategically floating through open water until reaching the perfect place and time to explode. . . in a good way.
Southside Stranglers sound captures elements of Helmet, Queens of the Stone Age and Fugazi. There is a primal and masculine impulsive sense that each member is trying to out-heavy and out-hard one another with each beat and strum but not at the expense of playing to the larger goal of pleasing listeners.
Check out the Southside Stranglers debut album, "Devilled" or catch them live. Catch them live. Approach the task acknowledging they fancy themselves the "Best of All Time." In the end, maybe you'll join them in their proclamation.