James Leg: Below The Belt

Cranked punk-blues from Texan keyboard anarchist.

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Anybody who hasn’t heard James Leg or his pre-solo caterwauling grooves with Black Diamond Heavies should a) feel downright ashamed and b) give this gloriously dishevelled long-player a blast.

Below The Belt cranks out filthy, overdriven punk-rock blues with Leg’s Fender Rhodes sounding like a thousand instruments at once. His throaty vox bring to mind Tom Waits and GG Allin trading shots with a pissed-up Jim Morrison. It’s like the man’s gargling nitroglycerine or something similarly lethal.

Leg’s original tunes kick high and fine (check out Dirty South and Can’t Stop Thinking About It for size) but he also wraps his key-pounding fingers around Sister Rosetta Tharpe’s Up Above My Head before giving The Cure’s A Forest a lo-fi spooky reworking. Debauched, unbounded rock’n’roll seems a rarity these days, but James Leg, yet again, goes against the grain.