In a world of roots-conscious two-person blues-punk combos, BBQ has raised the bar by proving you can do it all by your lonesome. Thanks to the magic of foot pedals, Mark Sultan handles both the guitar and the backbeat on his second album as BBQ, Tie Your Noose, and if his rhythmic style is a bit less elaborate than that of, say, Bantam Rooster or the Flat Duo Jets, his guitar work is both tough and melodic, and unlike most of his peers he's not afraid to let a natural sweetness show in his voice. The songs on Tie Your Noose have as much to do with rockabilly and classic soul as guitar-shot blues ("Don't You Hold Out on Me" sounds like a lost Sam Cooke number, and "Burn This Town" would do Johnny Burnette proud), while Sultan can make with the big rock or ease off into a lighter-impact approach with equal skill, giving this set a welcome sense of aural variety many blues-punk hard-liners lack. And while Ed La Rocque's low-rent engineering and production fall a bit short of hi-fi, they capture Sultan's live energy with no-frills accuracy and a low-tech sound that's warm and inviting. Pick up Tie Your Noose and serve up some BBQ at your next party -- it goes well with both beverages and the dancefloor, assuming your guests have any cool at all.
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AllMusic Review by Mark Deming