On Dieselhed's self-titled debut, the band introduces the listener to their good ol' countryfied-punk rock & roll. There are lots of roaming bass, guitar, and violin lines, with group-sung verses and choruses. The band also likes to have fun, as evidenced in the humorous and heartbroken country goof "Poodles Ear" (which sports the lyrics "She's got a bandana on a Panama hat autographed by Billy Squier; a poster of Vince Neil in front of a brick wall of barbed wire and fire"). Another track with crafty words is "Greyhound," which talks about what the band eats for breakfast. "Hash Browns" opens up the album on an eerie note, with a similar sound to Nirvana's unplugged reading of the Meat Puppets' "Plateau." Other highlights include "Cloud of Diesel," which would sound perfect in a southern honky-tonk, and "Hot VW's," which contains loose drumming usually not associated with country-rock (courtesy of Danny Heifetz). And although the album does drag a bit in places (especially on their overlong compositions "Ice Chest," "5 Shots," "B A Band"), the group's fresh approach to songwriting and unpredictably relentless sense of humor keep them afloat. Dieselhed's self-titled debut was a good starting point for the band, which they used as a building block for their later releases.
by Greg Prato