Live at the Pour House
There's a certain flavor of Southern rock — Little Feat and the Allman Brothers Band come to mind — that's perennial, danceable, and gritty with a funky twist. Live Oak singer-guitarist Brian "BG" Graham, guitarist Campbell Brown, keyboardist/vocalist Stephen Stokes, drummer Dan Logan, and bassist Ryan "Ike" Griffin know this terrain and cover it with gusto. This CD of originals doesn't push any boundaries, but it gives you the guided tour. Guitars and keys are very much in the foreground here, just like you like 'em. The cut "Back Home" may stray a bit into reggae turf, but this is mostly south of the Mason-Dixon guitar rock. Slap "Shakin' It Easy" on the CD player. I dare you not to shimmy. (www.liveoakjams.com) —Jon Santiago
Live Oak play on New Year's Eve at Cumberland's.
Steve Hit Mike
I Got So Hammered
If The Clash had bigger amps, a clicky kick drum sound, head colds, and Yank accents (wait, that's what Rancid sound like), they might have sounded like Steve Hit Mike's new five-song disc. A bit rawer and heavier, perhaps, than last year's five-song indie release Twelve Feet Under, the punchy and roaring I Got So Hammered is even more to the point. Lead singer and guitarist Jeff Riddle cusses and cracks up between vocal takes, but his throat-shredding delivery in the big choruses and opening lines sound less like a rookie kid and more like a pissed-off fugitive hollering at the TV news crews. Lead-off track "Shut Up" and its ascending opening riff soar into rough-but-melodic rock realms previously occupied by X, The Move, and The Buzzcocks. The blazing "Spreads Like Disease" and intricate "Fuck the Cops" riff on 16th notes like Motörhead. The reggae/ska-based "The Revolution" provides a bit of rock variety. Released on their own label, I Got So Hammered is an impressive effort; lo-fi, but quite confident. (www.myspace.com/anarchypancakes)