Release Date: Apr 28, 2014
Record label: One Little Indian
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock
If you were around when The White Stripes first hit it big, there’s a chance you might have heard of Dan Sartain. If you like your rock to come from a garage and your roll to be laden with sexy swagger, you’ve probably heard of Dan Sartain. If this review is genuinely the first time you have ever heard of him, plug yourself into his incredible 2003 effort Dan Sartain vs.
One question springs to mind when listening to Dan Sartain’s new record – why does the quintessentially American, Alabama-native rockabilly aficionado have a song on it called ‘Smash The Tesco’? What’s more, it sounds just like a brash, British anarcho-punk band, English accent and all. Still, maybe the ‘why’ isn’t important, because it’s a belligerent, berserk gem of a song. Elsewhere on this curiously eclectic record there’s a chilling cover of The Knife’s ‘Pass This On’ – “I’m in love with your brother”, Sartain sings, sinisterly – plus the gentle country swing of ‘Moonlight Swim’ and ‘Marfa Nights’, and the dark rockabilly of ‘Rawhide Moon’.
Incorporating brushes with artists as diverse as Jack White, Jane Wiedlin and X drummer DJ Don Bonebrake (who drums here), Texas’ Dan Sartain has never been afraid to celebrate his influences. On his ninth album, his wayward approach continually casts the listeners’ expectations aside, veering from doleful blues to roughly recorded Brit-mocking punk, over to country and back round to the neo-rockabilly that first made Sartain’s name. His voice (expect on Smash The Tesco) remains easily identifiable: part bratty, part soulful.
Punk and garage rockers can be a pretty easy lot to please. Once they sink their teeth into something they like, they’re pretty loyal to their favorite bands, as long as they just stick to the script. And for a while it seemed like Dan Sartain was one such guy who respected the straight-and-narrow path. With four records neatly tucked away under his belt, Sartain has already run circles around his bastardized, basement-born brand of garage and punk a few times over.