Blues-punk? Garage rock 'n' roll? Whatever you care to call it, this is ferocious stuff. Gallon Drunk know their way around rhythms and here they fire off basic blues ('Put the Bolt in the Door'), bossa nova ('Night Panic Bossa'), borderline hard rock ('Bad Servant'), shuffling funk ('On Ward 10') and all manner of hybrids. Their other forte is atmosphere, which they conjure from swampy, echoing production; deftly timed squalls of sax, harmonica and feedback; James Johnston's ability to sing like a man possessed and (last but not least) squalid, sleazy, lyrical matter. If you don't like it raw you'd better keep a safe distance.
Not a pop album, then (if you want more melody and pop hooks with your garage noir, you are better off with The Flaming Stars, the band fronted by Max Decharne, who used to be Gallon Drunk's drummer), although 'Grand Union Canal' is as catchy as hell and also comes as a single.
Oh yes - once last thing: the 'Grinderman' album that came out a few months back. More than one reviewer was put in mind of Gallon Drunk, but take it from me - 'The Rotten Mile' wipes the floor with it for tunes; for aggro quotient; for everything, in fact. Johnston may work for Nick Cave in The Bad Seeds, but he can show his boss a thing or two.