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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Expanded reissue of Mercury-nominated album, 3 July 2007
By 
Jason Parkes (Worcester, UK) - See all my reviews
(No. 1 Hall OF FAME REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: From the Heart of Town (Audio CD)
From the Heart of Town made the Mercury shortlist, though sadly didn't win as more often than not, the judges get it wrong. This expanded reissue of From the Heart of Town accompanies similar reissues of debut LP You, the Night.....and the Music and the Tonite...the Singles Bar collection. Those records very much advance on a rubric that is a little Cramps and influenced by/advancing on the territory of 'Figure of Fun' by The Birthday Party. Gallon Drunk's frontman James Johnston is now a Bad Seed, though I find it weird that Cave's latest Grinderman-project is very reminiscent of Gallon Drunk!!

From the Heart of Town still has many trademarks of Gallon Drunk's earlier material - Johnston's rockabilly holler, shaking maracas, Terry Edwards' sax and a soundtrack feel that would have been suited to films like Touch of Evil and Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia. But this LP expands the vision of the early material, Gallon Drunk becoming sort of companions to several records by Tindersticks, and with their collaboration with the late Derek Raymond, advancing into noirish climes.
From the Heart of Town feels like their most complete LP, the debut/compilation maybe a best of their initial sound, this is where they took the live mania and band chemistry and applied it to a studio longplayer.

From the Heart of Town is a loaded album, like several Lou Reed albums (Berlin, Magic and Loss, New York), it really should be listened to in one sitting, like a movie. It's relentless stuff, from the opening organ wigout of 'Jake on the Make', to the manic rockabilly (& almost drum'n'bassy!) 'Bedlam', the epic 'Arlington Road', and 'Loving Alone', which sounds like Elvis stepping through time into the 1990s, with some tremendous strings etc that are worthy of Jimmy Webb. Best of all is 'You Should Be Ashamed', which has great female choir vocals, some of which are from Laetia Sadier of Stereolab, this song demonstrates the depth to Gallon Drunk's music, both in terms of arrangment, instrumentation, and lyrics. Much more than a poor man's Bad Seeds or Birthday Party - 'You Should Be Ashamed' is the track you should sample to give you an idea if you will like this or not. Though some prefer the early primal likes of 'Some Fool's Mess', 'May the Earth Open Here', their cover of 'Miserlou', 'Ruby', and 'The Last Gasp.' I say...buy the lot - three mid price reissues with all that great artwork and a mass of bonus tracks. Then maybe it will be time to catch up with what Gallon Drunk did next?
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good Album, 17 April 2013
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This review is from: From the Heart of Town (Audio CD)
An excellent introduction to the Band and gets a feel for their sound. Recording was low budget in my view but adds to its charm
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From the Heart of Town
From the Heart of Town by Gallon Drunk (Audio CD - 2007)
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