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Die Hunns - You Rot Me Review

by Travis Becker

The rock media and the world at large credit Bob Dylan for paving the way for artists who were perhaps not the best singers to find success in popular music. In addition, they say that Dylan redefined the way we look at lyrics and at what can be considered poetry. If this conventional wisdom is true, then Duane Peters owes a huge debt of gratitude to Bob Dylan. The definition of terms like "street" and "old school", Peters returns with another band, Die Hunns, and a new album, You Rot Me. Die Hunns combine garage and punk influences in a sound that echoes back to LA Punk in the early 80's and even further to the mystic, folksy tunes of the Rolling Stones at their most drugged and dangerous.

Joining Peters are ex-Nashville Pussy bassist, Corey Parks (yes, the really hot one) and Zander Schloss of Circle Jerks fame. Duane Peters' trademark croak provides the most instantly recognizable aspect of the music, and while the southern sleaze of Parks' former outfit is nowhere to be found, her turn on vocals is effective. "Jorge" recalls the dueling male/female vocals of John Doe and Exene Cervenka of X and "Ain't it a Shame" bounces along with a Stones-like riff and more trading off between Peters and Parks.

Far from traditional punk rock, Die Hunns mix up their sound with elements of solo Iggy Pop and the shambling hard luck tales of sheer weirdness, reminiscent of Tom Waits. The core of the sound still owes quite a bit to the hardcore roots of Los Angeles circa 1981, though. The violence of "47th St." and the irony of "Mad Society" both sound like they could have floated over a circle pit in some dingy club in Hermosa Beach. Peters growls, "I'm coming to kill you on the eve of Christmas/It's just a pagan holiday," and you almost have to believe him. The street resonates in his throaty growls.

Parks follows up Peters' murder ballad with "On My Mind", on which she sounds almost like Courtney Love, but not nearly as obnoxious. Plus, she manages to carry a tune by the chorus. "Doll Parts" it ain't.

The sound of You Rot Me flows perfectly from the songwriting on the record. The production sounds old, but not bad. Not merely quiet or bled together, the instruments are distinct, but the "far away" backing vocals and thin character of some of the guitars stuff the album sonically into the way back machine. The rollicking chorus of "Night Like Tonight" finishes things off with a bang, and one has to imagine the band closes its live set with this song as well. It's a great coda to a satisfying album of slightly off-kilter, punked-up rock and roll.

Let's be honest, Duane Peters can't sing. And to be truthful, lyrics about weird midgets in one's bed and the Shah of Iran aren't making the next anthology of poetry for English 101 students. But this is Rock and Roll and thanks to old Zimmy, all bets are off.

CD Info and Links

Die Hunns - You Rot Me

Label:Volcom Entertainment, 2006
Release Date: September 26, 2006

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