Album Review: Daddy Long Legs Release 4th Studio Album – Street Sermons

The Breakdown

NYC's Scuzzy rockin blues trio return with best album to date.
Yep Roc Records

Since the release of Evil Eye On You in 2012, Daddy Long Legs have been enchanting audiences the world over, with their particular brand of scuzzy harmonica led rhythm and blues, infused with punk attitude. Now Brian Hurd (Vox/harmonica) and the boys are back with their fourth studio LP and second on Yep Roc Records.

There’s nothing particularly earth shattering about the format, it’s one any Dr Feelgood or Alabama 3 fan will instantly recognise and appreciate, but it’s feel good music personified. After one listen, you’re going to want to shower, because Street Sermon is hot sweaty dive bar stuff and your toes and head will be sore from a-tappin’ and a-nodding.  You can almost taste the bourbon and smell the sawdust, which is slightly at odds with its NY origins.

Title track Street Sermon, sees them encouraging a troubled congregation to “Work with one another/Not against each other”, in a semi-chain gang, working song idyll, emanating from the bowels of a steamy subterranean world, pure New York city. This would easily drop into the soundtrack if Grease was ever rebooted and set on the East Coast

Brian offers up the explanation thus, “We were upset about a lot of things when we wrote this song and one thing that struck me was that there was a real lack of meaningful protest songs being written at the time, so we decided to take matters into our own hands.”

Nightmare features some great slide guitar and harmonica, plus a guest vocal from punk legend Wreckless Eric in the narrative role, describing the total shitshow of how the world currently plays out, as it hurtles into a man-made oblivion. During the depths of the lockdown, frontman/harpman Brian Hurd experienced a terrifying dream and awoke in a cold sweat. To exorcise the terror he immediately scribbled down his memories of the dream that became the album’s first single, “Nightmare,” a scream-worthy rocker about dealing with a world gone wrong: “We’re livin’ a nightmare and this world is condemned; I’ll see you if this nightmare ever ends.”

Rockin My Boogie is “straight outta Canvey (island)”, with shades of a young Elvis, before Hurd steers the vocals back into his own gravelly styleee!

Instrumental Harmonica Razor is a 2 minute stomp, superbly showcasing Hurd’s repertoire, before he’s possessed by the spirit of Slade’s Noddy Holder on Been A Fool Once.

Wreckless Eric guests again on Silver Satin and John Sebastian (Lovin’ Spoonful) guests on Ding-Ding Man, which quite possibly features the only use of a Kazoo this century.

Stop What You’re Doing begins like the Jesus And Mary Chain, with Johnny Cash on vocals and then it’s all aboard the Electro-Motive Blues train, as the closing track pulls away from the station, replete with woo-woos.

Produced by Black Lips drummer Oakley Munson in Catskill’s Old Soul Studios, which (from their website) “has an extensive collection of vintage and new musical instruments. We use classic vintage analog equipment and tape machines in tandem with cutting-edge, industry-standard digital recording gear to obtain the best possible results.” Which, on the evidence of the 12 tracks showcased here, is definitely job done.

Street Sermons is released today on Yep Roc Records and available on all major streaming platforms as well as Limited Edition Red Vinyl (500 copies) and Black Vinyl from their Bandcamp Page

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