search by
artist  album title  keyword
trouser press
Home
Reviews
What's New
Trouser Press Magazine
Message Board
Links
FAQ's
Merchandise
Contact Us
XML
 
 

TH'INBRED (Buy CDs by this artist)
A Family Affair (Toxic Shock) 1986
Kissin' Cousins (Toxic Shock) 1988
Family Pack [tape] (Toxic Shock) c. 1988
BILLY ATWELL
Ferret in a China Shop ... (Bobok) 1988

Despite an image that screams it-came-from-the-swamp psychobilly, the West Virginia quartet's two albums consist of topical songs and instrumentals played in a disciplined form of sharply thrashed jazz-rock which can turn tight melodic corners on a screeching dime and make abrupt rhythm shifts amid a hailstorm of free-fire guitar power. Very much in a Minutemen/Blind Idiot God vein, A Family Affair and Kissin' Cousins (matched on the Family Pack cassette) find the sharpwitted anarchists angrily attacking Christianity, Satanism, hardcore ideologues, apathy, American policy, etc. and backing it up with crisply organized noise.

After Th'Inbred folded at the end of '87 (prior to Kissin' Cousins' release), drummer Billy Atwell worked on his solo album between stints with the Rhythm Pigs, who disbanded the following year. On Ferret in a China Shop, an impressively skilled and surprising refutation of punk, Atwell ably demonstrates what he can do with guitar, bass, keyboards and ambience instead of speed and volume. But the meandering instrumental sketches are pointless, and the fusion-rock songs bear a disturbing resemblance to junior-league Police. Atwell has the tools to go it alone, but this album doesn't explain why he should.

[Ira Robbins]