Brad Norris holds a special place in my heart as literally one of the best live frontmen I’ve ever seen. I once borrowed his mic at a show and the poor little thing was so beaten and battered, I shed a tear. The emaciated microphone quickly lapped up that tear, and we cried dryly on the barroom floor together for ten minutes. Either that, or the crippled little bastard shocked me into a coma and I dreamed the whole thing. He's an epic dangerous preacher man slinging his device like a yo-yo. Some folks probably still whisper, “That’s the dude from Norma Jean”. I, on the other hand, scream constantly and consistently every day, “That’s the guy from the Divine Shakes!!!!”. Now he’s back with other local-loco legends, Jacob Ragan (Divine Shakes/Russian Love Machine/Tiger Helicide), Jared Loyd (Russian Love Machine/TRME/Boo Radley’s Bones/Tiger Helicide) and Nate Glenn (Boo Radley’s Bones, The Dry Holler). This is kinda my dream band. A super-duper group. Jacob and Jared have been killing for years now as Russian Love Machine. Jacob hits the drums haaaard and enthusiastically, but is really quite thoughtful with his instrument, meanwhile, Jared’s a powerful mega-bassist that can shout his brains out but still make the rhythm lead. I’ve literally witnessed him make others transform into better musicians. He was in TRME, that should tell ya enough. Nate is a superb rock AND roll guitarist, who can conjure insta-hit riffs. A classic rocker for the southern-fried punk rock crowd.
Expertly produced by Brad White at Analog on Third, TGAT is less of an E.P. and more of a brilliant 3-song singles collection. “Sage.” opens, takes the listener's hand, and drags them right into the danger. Deceptive alternative rock with K00L killer wanky guitar. Is this what those folks in Seattle thought they were doing in the 90's? “To The Brim.” is fantastic post-punk, bringing to mind Joy Division at its start with throbbing rolling rhythm and suggestive guitar leads. It soon turns left and morphs into a cool 70’s radio hit from my imagination (or England or somewhere). Like the 45 of a band of that era just before they sold out. The song that the guy at the record store plays for me and pretends represents the band’s whole catalog. But every song by this band is excellent. E.P. closer "Wild and Free." takes everything you heard in the previous two tracks and conks their damn heads together. It rocks. It punks. Everybody gives 100 gazillion percent. Rollicking bass. Badass guitar. Adrenaline drums. Drummer-boy even throws in his well-documented throat-in-a-blender voice for back-up shouts. As always, our beloved singer is an out-of-control public speaker taking the wheel of a battered tank as it treads purposefully over a cliff. It's a catchy ditty.
Debuts don't get much better. Buy this and be happy for 10 minutes.