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Roberta - Workdogs

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Genre: Pop / Artist: Workdogs / Audio CD released 1993-10-08 at Sympathy for the Record Indust

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      09.02.2011 12:58
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      Something a bit different

      Currently the New York music scene is leading the way with Balkan and Jewish folk punk rock with bands like Gogol Bordello, Devotchka, Firewater and Nanuchka making a name for themselves in recent years. Turn the clock back 15 years though and there was a different scene, one which wasn't quite as prominent and is almost forgotten today.

      In the 90s, there was a post punk blues rock scene, today many of the recordings are hard to come by, one of those that I had the pleasure tolisten to recently was an album called "Roberta" by the Workdogs. Workdogs never had a big following and most of their fans were members of other New York rock bands.

      A constantly rotating line-up and the band's style of sloppy rocky drugged out blues made it hard for any record label to take them seriously but the songs that are recorded are true gems, vocally the band sound a bit like Lou Reed on his Transformer album, lyrically the band are old school blues and the music is sounds like a combination of blues, Jimi Hendrix and The New York Dolls.

      The band have done a great job of returning the sweeter Chicago blues sound to it's raw roots, although Workdogs obviously sound quite different from the early delta sound, they have returned it to a looser more free sounding style.

      The album starts off with the title-track "Roberta" which comes in at a long 16 minutes, in no way does it sound like prog rock though, it's not really the best track on the album but it's certainly interesting.. the slide heavy "Naked Giveaway" is the coolest track on the album for sure. There's also a more upbeat rockabillyesque sounding track in the form of "Rob K's Money Crazy Boogie. The awesome muffled guitar sound of "Jane" shows another great side to the band and gives off a raw muddy horror rock blues feel.

      The band are no more and it's hard to find their stuff but if you come across it, it's well worth a listen.

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