In their press handout, the Porch Ghouls proclaim themselves leaders of a new musical movement called "Ruckus," but judging from their debut 10" EP, this is just a new name for the purposefully messed-up trash blues stylings bands like the Gibson Brothers, '68 Comeback, the Oblivians, and the Revelators have been dishing out for years. (Not at all surprisingly, former Gibson Brothers and '68 Comeback topkick Monsieur Jeffrey Evans is credited as producer.) If the Porch Ghouls aren't exactly breaking new ground, they still sound like they're having a good time rockin' the house, and the five covers on the band's debut are lean, greasy, and full of fire. Guitarist Slim Electro (aka Scott Taylor of the Grifters) is just expert enough to play this stuff right without sounding flashy (which you really don't want in this context), Randy Valentine's harp work is strong enough that one wishes it wasn't buried in the mix, and their sneaky low-tech ramble through blues classics like "Give Me Back My Wig" and "Spoonful" honors the weird and wild heritage of the music better than anything Alligator has put out in the past decade. The album's sole "original" is a tape-collage experiment made from old Billy Lee Riley records spun backwards, which leaves open the question if these folks know how to write songs, but this EP proves they can play 'em well enough to be welcome at any juke joint within a hundred mile radius. Ragged but right!
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AllMusic Review by Mark Deming