17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
Gotta Let the Big Dogs Run!, 26 Sep 2002
Prepare yourselves for the strongest, greasiest opening to a hard rock R&B album since Back in Black. KLSTRFNKY is the opening cannonade to what is Ted Nugent's best album for over 20 years.
It seems to me criminal that the Michiganiac Motormouth has not received the kudos he so obviously deserves after a musical career spanning five decades. That he hasn't is probably due to his much-reported outspoken political views rather than his musical agenda.
I still think that he will get the respect and dues he is owed by generations of rockers - and if anything is likely to speed up that long-overdue process, it's Craveman, which goes like this:
1. KLSTRPHNKY: When you hear Nugent cackling maniacally and muttering "Birdy, birdy, birdy" in between the cataclysmic opening riffs, you know he's laying down a groove and attitude that will become a new trademark. This is his mission statement. He doesn't perform songs, he throws them into your guts.
2. CRAVE: More Byrdland pyrotechnics hail the delivery of another slab of classic rock hard Nugent. The lyrics ("A simple life I will not have/It doesn't satisfy me/I don't believe in the status quo/it kinda leaves me weak") are close to his heart - they show his love of a self-sufficient, uncompromising lifestyle, and they are matched by great Gibson guitar work
and that rock-hard, water-tight rhythm section.
3. RAWDOGS &WARHOGS: Already a live favourite, this is another statement of intent, a heartfelt lifestyle testimony which cranks into life with a typical turbocharged Nugent R&B lick and rocks along at a fearsome pace. It features two great solos from the man.
4. DAMNED IF YOU DO: In which El Nuge, with cohorts Tommy Clufetos and bass maestro Marco Mendoza out-AC/DC AC/DC. Another bone-crunching riff, more lyrics from the gut, more great soloing.
5.AT HOME THERE: Hendrix-style finger-play ushers in this slower, meditative piece, which features some nimble bass-work from Marco Mendoza and plenty of atmospheric fretboard wizardry.
6. CUM N GITYA SUM O' THIS: A manic, running bassline sets the tone for what sounds like T Rex overdosed on testosterone. This is one of those tracks where the vocals on the chorus follow the guitar note for note - I'm not desperately keen on that as a rule, but the quality of the musicianship raises this above filler status.
7. CHANGE MY SEX: One request I never thought I would hear Ted Nugent utter! (Relax - as you might expect, the chorus also features the words "You'll never"). Trademark Ted riff takes you up a chorus which features the wonderful announcement "You'll never change my sex/It's much too complex". Not one of my favourite tracks but it still rocks like hell.
8. I WON'T GO AWAY: Slower-paced but in your face - "a firestorm in your face", to be precise. This is another public service announcement from Nugent to the Moral Majority. Has a sweet little break ("I absolutely love your attitude/ You and me we should go wild in the night"). Like Crave and Rawdogs, this track is all about attitude.
9. PUSSYWHIPPED: Subtle as a flying mallet but hey! How refreshing to hear someone telling it EXACTLY as it is! A downhome, good-time stomp which has a funky little guitar/vocal breakdown towards the end. Fun.
10. GOING DOWN HARD: The opening 30 seconds of this song are as great as anything the Nuge has done. An absolutely irresistible riff which I'm sure any guitar player worth a damn - Chuck Berry and Billy Gibbons included - would be proud to have dreamed up. A storming track which should be further up the running order.
11. WANG DANG DOODLE: Basically a slowed down re-working of Wang Dang Sweet Poontang. And who's complaining? More gleeful giggling from the Nugent as he wrings unbelievable tones out of that Byrdland.
12. MY BABY LIKES MY BUTTER ON HER GRITZ: Is this the spiritual bloodbrother of ZZ Top's Pearl Necklace? I couldn't possibly comment. You can trace the pedigree of this flat-out dirty blues jam back to the likes of Howlin' Wolf.
13. SEXPOT: More Hendrix- flourishes, and another low-down, greasy Motorcity blues thing. Nugent's touch has never been surer than on this alternatively gritty/sweet number.
14. EARTHTONES: A kindred spirit to the live showpiece Fred Bear; this is the perfect groove to have on in your vehicle as you return home after a hard day's work/hunting. In fact, it's musical companion is Homebound from Cat Scratch Fever. A fitting finale to one of the best hard rock R&B albums in recent years. Marco Mendoza's beautiful bass-work must get another mention.
So there you go. Let the Ted Nugent revival start here. And five words which sum up this killer album? LET THE BIG DOGS RUN!!