Album review: Cherokee.Rock.Rifle - Ta-Li

(Photo by Todd Zimmer)
There are just not enough synonyms for blistering or scalding in the thesaurus to fully describe the sonic cock punch known as Cherokee.Rock.Rifle. Beloved by many for a bursting and no-holds-barred live show—described by the band as “a high energy show leaving you with the feeling of having been gently trampled by a herd of sonic buffalo somewhere in the untamed plains”—Cherokee.Rock.Rifle has somehow managed to adequately capture their scorching volcanic eruption on Ta-Li, a six-song EP released in April 2013.
This is your older brother’s dirty, unapologetically STD-laced riff rock still rolling after a weekend bender on the good shit, the stuff that even Lemmy would think is too strong. The guitars hit harder than any of that indie crap you’re SOOOOO into right now. The rhythm section of Brett Southard and EvanJohn Mcintosh somehow stakes the burgeoning cavalcade of guitars to the ground. Singer/wailer/screamer/guttural-hellfire-screecher Dutch Humphrey bends your ears over like a skanky White House intern.
If you know much of Cherokee, the lead track “Loose Talk/Noose Talk” seems almost like a joke at first. Slide guitar, a barely distorted, almost cowboy sound, rim shots? However, fear not troopers, as after a few minutes of slow and careful dynamic build all is put back in its rightful place with a trademark Cherokee ground-zero detonation of rock ‘n roll around the four-minute mark.
The other five tracks are much more straightforward outbursts of angst and grit. Doug Nelson, Scott Reed, Southard, and Mcintosh keep the blazing wildfire formula just varied and interesting enough to make you want to strap the gimp mask on and take another round of the switch. Humphrey continually shreds his vocal cords apart with slivers of glass and flaming sandpaper to pound the stories home. “Burn” stands out as the single of the bunch, but it would probably kick my ass for saying that.

The music Cherokee.Rock.Rifle presents on Ta-Li is not fancy. It’s not overly clever or new. But it will run your Prius off the road, pull you out of the driver’s seat and unmercifully thrash your skinny ass to a pulp before peeling out in a 1978 Mustang with a “My Kid Knocked Up Your Honor Roll Student” bumper sticker. And to think, their live show is even better.

You can bear witness to Cherokee.Rock.Rifle’s live show tomorrow night, September 5 at The Riot Room. The band will be partying with Coward (Columbia) and Austin’s Not In The Face!. Show starts at 9 p.m. with Coward. Facebook event page. You can also catch them at Crossroads Music Fest next Saturday, September 14 at The Brick. They will be the last act of the fest, playing at 1:30. You can buy tickets in advance at this link for $15, $20 at the gate.

--Zach Hodson

Zach Hodson is a monster. He once stole a grilled cheese sandwich from a 4-year-old girl at her birthday party. He will only juggle if you pay him. I hear he punched Slimer right in his fat, green face. He knows the secrets to free energy, but refuses to release them until "Saved by the Bell: Fortysomethings" begins production.

He is also in Dolls on Fire and Drew Black & Dirty Electric, as well as contributing to various other Kansas City-based music, comedy, and art projects.


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