Most punk rock bands have a habit of getting a little sloppy when they bash it out fast and hard, but not the Black Furies -- they connect with a fierce precision that's impressive indeed on their second full-length album, Death Trip Saturday Night. Guitarists Cliff Truesdell and Clint Blatchford lock their axes with the firm mesh of a good hard rock band, but their non-stop barrage of riffage definitely comes from the same school of thought as the Ramones, the Dictators, and the Lazy Cowgirls, and they obviously know how to wrench maximum impact from their material. If bassist Michael Scanland and drummer Mark Adams aren't quite as distinctive, they certainly get the job done without getting in the way (always the sign of a good rhythm section), and the 12 songs on Death Trip Saturday Night roar by in an efficient 31 minutes. If there's a flaw to this album, it's the songwriting -- there isn't anything wrong with the material per se, but "Murder City Shakedown," "Bitter Pill," and "It Ain't That Easy" are about as pro forma as the titles suggest, and though it's foolish to expect an act like this to reinvent the wheel, given how strong they sound when they're in fifth gear, it's hard not to wish that what they say could be as powerful as the way they say it. Still, if you want to hear some solid old-school punk that'll give your ears the kick they've been needing, the Black Furies can do the job, and maybe next time they'll write songs as good as their chops merit.
Death Trip Saturday Night Review
by Mark Deming