Release Date: Feb 21, 2012
Record label: Goner Records
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock, Garage Punk
John Wesley Coleman may share 67% of his name with Wesley Stace’s alter ego John Wesley Harding (to say nothing of a certain 1967 Bob Dylan record), but on his sixth full length, Coleman shows less interest in evoking those two touchstones and would much rather tweak irreverent barroom rock and pre-Beatles rock ‘n’ roll. Recorded in Texas and Oakland, CA, the freewheeling, eclectic The Last Donkey Show feels informed by a lot of the shaggy lo-fi pop coming out of the latter city’s across-the-bay neighbor, San Francisco: Shannon and the Clams, Sonny and the Sunsets, etc. To wit: the demented girl-group stylings of “Don’t Waste My Time” and the reckless, circus-y keybs of the opening “My Grave” find Coleman and his compatriots throwing ideas against the wall and having them stick in just the right spots.
Punk in spirit, rifling through dirty R&B, outlaw country, and vintage pop, Austin's the Golden Boys embody every great idiom of rock & roll. Vinyl-hugging fifth album Dirty Fingernails harnesses the local quintet's raucous live fervor with a straight-to-tape aesthetic that's most evident in the re-recording of "Older Than You. " Previously featured on 2010 Matador Records sampler Casual Victim Pile, this version of Matt Hoopengardner's tale of teenage kicks should be on the short list for perfect Texan tracks, pairing dual guitars with Bryan Schmitz's tumbling bass and a vocal hook worthy of Little Richard ("I can't afford another lover/I can't afford a pair of shoes").