That's bottle as in bottleneck guitar, y'understand, and that's all one needs to know: Bottle Up & Go (not to be confused with the other two bands -- at least -- who have named themselves after the Leadbelly classic) are yet another one of those guitar and drums blooze duos that have sprung up like mushrooms since the emergence of the White Stripes. In this case, the singer and guitarist is Keenan Mitchell, the drummer is Fareed Sajan, and the duo formed as undergrads at the Connecticut liberal arts college Wesleyan University. So right off the bat, this is not a purist trip, and indeed, the most recognizably blues-rooted song on the duo's debut album, Leadbelly's "Ain't Goin' Down," is the one most unrecognizably mutated into some kind of post-Beefheart primal noise howl, complete with a skronking guest saxophonist. The originals on the rest of the album are primarily along the lines of "51 Weeks, 7 Days," where Mitchell's slide guitar sloppily attempts a traditional blues riff while Sajan bashes and crashes behind him like some kind of post-punk Billy Cobham. (Imagine if the balance of chops in the White Stripes were completely flipped and Meg White was by far the better musician of the two; it wouldn't be far off from this.) The title track kicks up the most appealing indie blues fuss out of the lot, even developing an honest to goodness groove. The rest of the album is enjoyable primarily for those who have a taste for the studiedly primitive, be it the Gun Club or the Black Keys.
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AllMusic Review by Stewart Mason