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Record Review


Oh to have been a fly on the wall at Sony when Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry introduced this CD to the bigwigs and told them release it on Columbia. You can see the suits' eyes rolling back in their heads at the prospect of dedicating precious time and resources to the Porch Ghouls, a grumpy, stripped-down Memphis-based quartet that makes the White Stripes sound like, well, Aerosmith.

Borrowing frantic, minimalist riffs and a nonchalant attitude from acts on the Fat Possum label and youthful energy from '60s blues invasion bands such as Them, the Yardbirds and the Stones, the Porch Ghouls drown their licks in the grime of the Southern swamps. Overdriven harmonica and slide guitar that seem to be played through vintage amps, growl and grind behind lead singer Eldorado Del Ray's cracked, salacious howl.

Things quiet -- but don't settle -- down on "Little Candy for Tessie" and "Mississippi River Payday," a pair of acoustic stomps that provide relief from the hardcore boogie-blues that slithers out of the grooves on the majority of this down- home release.

At only a half-hour, it's over too quickly, but not before the Ghouls throw down their title track's garage boogie, a combination of the Fleshtones, the Flat Duo Jets, George Thorogood and Slim Harpo that flaunts their diverse influences and raucous, primitive approach.

The Porch Ghouls play the Echo Lounge Tues., Dec. 2. $8.

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