Lazy Cowgirls

Tapping the Source

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The Lazy Cowgirls' Chris D.-produced debut didn't quite capture what made them the best punk band to come out of L.A. after the SST explosion went bust, but 1987's Tapping the Source (with the band calling the shots alongside engineer Marc Mylar) was a major improvement that got their greasy roar onto plastic with something approaching the power it deserved. Like X and the New Bomb Turks, the Lazy Cowgirls are one of the few punk bands that understand rock & roll had a history prior to 1970, and alongside their top-fuel originals, which mix blamalama thrash with blues and country accents, the Cowgirls also cover two classic early rock sides (the Coasters' "Yakety Yak" and Larry Williams' "Justine") in their own inimitable style, and crank Jim Reeves' "Heartache" up to 90 mph without robbing it of its honky tonk pathos. Among the originals, "Goddamn Bottle" and "Mr. Screwdriver" are two songs about the perils of alcohol that, remarkably enough, don't sound preachy or annoyingly straight-edge, and actually rock hard. And no record collection can be considered complete without Pat Todd's full-bodied wail and D.D. Weekday's brilliantly sloppy guitar leads, and they're both in fine fettle here. Tapping the Source isn't the Lazy Cowgirls' best album, but it was their first great one, and if you've never checked out their road-tested genius, it's not a bad place to start.

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