Southern Culture On The Skids: The Kudzu Ranch

Southern Culture On The Skids
The Kudzu Ranch
(Kudzu Records)

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The pride of Chapel Hill, NC are back! The Kudzu Ranch, named after their studio/hangout, is the latest offering from Southern Culture On The Skids. It’s always been fairly hard to categorize the sound of SCOTS (as their loyal fans call them) and this release is no different. Some say rockabilly, others call it surf rock thrown into a bucket of fried chicken (which, incidentally, they like “sharing” with their audience) mixed with R&B and new wave punk. It’s safe to say they’re all over the place genre-wise, but despite dipping into different inspirational punch bowls to create their own original mix, they’ve managed to stay consistent through the years.

The album kicks off with the catchy and energetic track “Bone Dry Dirt,” which will have you bobbing around and singing along before the first minute is through. Then bassist/co-vocalist, Mary Huff, gets to strut her stuff with the roadhouse blues of “It’s The Music That Makes Me” and the 1960’s twang of “Highlife.” The song sandwiched in between, “Pig Pickin’,” sounds like early Meat Puppets, whenever they embraced their country tendencies.

By the time you get to “Montague’s Mystery Theme” you start wondering if you’ve accidentally wandered into a Nick Cave/Eric Burdon recording session. Guitarist/co-vocalist, Rick Miller, really shines here in my opinion. And The Kudzu Ranch contains one of the coolest covers I’ve ever heard in a mashup of Nirvana’s “Come As You are” and Pink Floyd’s “Lucifer Sam.” It’s amazing how seamlessly they flow into one another. SCOTS are one of those bands that seem like a lot of fun to be a part of and it definitely comes across in the music because The Kudzu Ranch is yet another enjoyable offering.

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