Scorched Earth Policy was originally a digital mixtape by Louisiana swamp- blues slide guitarist Brother Dege, composed of demos and field recordings. Now, he revisits that material in the studio, and these new takes drip with psychedelic effects and droning vocals.
The best tracks, such as Yellabone and Jones For War, have a stronger sense of structure, although lyrically Dege is not a storyteller to rival Seasick Steve or Ledfoot. Drummer Greg Travasos adds texture and dynamics to the instrumental Calabasas but there are too many songs built around a single refrain repeated ad infinitum. Tower Of Babel is the worst offender, with Dege tonelessly repeating ‘Revolution’ over a trance-like riff. It’s like a dog chasing its tail, going in circles (only very slowly, because the dog is off its gourd on psychotropic substances).