The Quick & Easy Boys

Red Light Rabbit

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The Quick and Easy Boys are hard to pigeonhole. The trio -- Jimmy Russell, guitar and vocals; Sean Badders, bass and vocals; Michael Goetz, drums -- started playing together in 2005 in the college town of Eugene, Oregon. They soon moved to Portland, home to an eclectic indie music scene and they fit right in with their impossible-to-define sound. The band says they play music influenced by Willie Nelson, Funkadelic, and the Minutemen, and as unlikely as it seems, you can hear traces of all three influences in their music. They're serious musicians with chops to spare, despite the fact that they dress in police uniforms, bunny suits, and lederhosen. The album is a riot of loose, barely contained energy and lo-fi noise, but the lax production values are part of its charm. A taste of Hendrix-influenced guitar noodling opens "7 Ways," a combination of loping rock and funky Motown thrash. Motown, Mersybeat, and the band's own brand of garage soul send "The Letter" into orbit, then Russell brings it home with a guitar solo full of shredding 32nd notes. "Red Light Rabbit" is a funk-punk rave-up with psychedelic country guitar that sounds like the Seeds sitting in with an early version of Funkadelic. For the Philly soul of "Take Your Medicine" Badders channels the Stylistics' Russell Tompkins against Russell's chattering Catfish Collins guitar, his own disco bassline, and a solid 4/4 beat from Goetz. "Daggers" closes the album on what seems to be a contemplative jazzy note. Badders does another Stylistics impression; he sings this broken-hearted ballad in his high register against Russell's melodic guitar ramblings. After Russell's drops a short bluesy solo, the energy starts building and they let loose for a finale that's a barrage of unruly psychedelic chaos.

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