Thursday, August 1, 2013

Pat Todd & the Rankoutsiders Re-Tap the Source with “14th & Nowhere…”

Working retail, many years ago in a Mid-Atlantic mall, a 1980s super-sized holdover with the glass escalators, strange-item kiosks, and newly employed 19 year olds, like me, consisted of mingling and entangling with other sleepwalking retail slackers. We lived to party every night in preparation of the acceptable 3-hour nap before the morning shift. Actually, it was 3 hours of doze before the afternoon shift as well. Driving my 1983 Chevette that I paid $400 for while living in my $330 a month apartment was good enough. I never slept in my bedroom, with its fake-wood panel walls and free illumination courtesy of the traffic light right outside my cracked windows.

I was convinced the bedroom was haunted. Instead, I entertained, fucked up, fucked off, and slept on the living room’s futon next to the kitchen I never paid much attention to. As I think about it, I can taste the discounted female fragrance, loud swill, low-grade drugs, and residue of even cheaper relationships. I had a scattered ritual of playing the Lazy Cowgirls on my boom box in the backseat of the Chevette because the car tape player never worked. “Tapping the Source” was on side A and its classic anthem “Goddamn Bottle” propelled body and mind to retail life-wasteland on most days. “Dancin’ To a Pack of Lies” on “14th & Nowhere…” shocked these memories to life as I blasted Pat Todd’s newest CD.

Pat Todd of Lazy Cowgirls fame has re-emerged with his backing band, the Rankoutsiders, to provide 2013 with a cool push and pull between punk n roll aggression and Exile on Main Street introspection (consider “Rocks Off” and “Sweet Virginia”). The renowned songwriter and his never-ending one-two punches of rock n roll song always offer something new while keeping the Cowgirls tradition alive. Todd continuously impresses in the live experience with his distinct throaty delivery that actually hits all the high and low notes. The latest album really takes the melodies into Punk Rockin’ Honky Tonk territory with dynamic choruses, flowing verses and liquored up guitars for moral support.

The warm-analog sounding production provides the perfect canvas for a seasoned band that delivers the rock n roll in timeless and well-versed styles. 15 songs are on this collection, so cruise around or drink to the Los Angelian scorched grooves while basking in the glow of past defeats and future dilemmas. I should’ve included “triumphs” in the last sentence, but triumphing wouldn’t be too rock n roll now would it? In the case of Pat Todd and his Rankoutsiders and Lazy Cowgirls, this is as close as you get to triumphing in the world of rock n roll without going insane or writing bullshit that no one wants to hear. This deserves repeated listens and Pat’s discography is well worth looking into. While you’re at it, support your local independent record store and buy some Cowgirls vinyl while picking up this CD. Until next time…

-Kevin McGovern, Fear & Loathing in Long Beach

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