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Churchwood / Press

“This lot should come with a government health warning.”

“Churchwood aren’t like anyone else...this group of Austin music scene veterans filters the blues through the demented styles of Captain Beefhart and Tom Waits.”

“This record, which hammers massive blues riffs on top of lyrics based in French surrealism, doesn’t sound like anyone else.”

“Imagine Howlin’ Wolf singing “Aranzazu, you there in the briars/ the hounds pursue me and I’m redolent of fire” and you’re in Churchwood’s area code.”

“Austin doesn't have many bands better that Churchwood. Equal parts Howling Wolf and Captain Beefheart, these guys deserve a much wider audience.”

“Their sound rises in dense clouds of hard roots, the hollow thump of a leather boot heel on wooden floorboards – dust so deep in the grooves that your needle snaps off. It's white lightning, blue thunder, orange-red brimstone.”

“Churchwood's 2 seethes with pent-up tension, sprung by 10 tall tales with titles like, "You Be the Mountain (I'll Be Mohammed)," "Keels Be Damned," "Weedeye," and "Money Shot Man." It's a curious hybrid of beat-poet sensibility and back porch intellectualism.”

“Members' résumés include Billysteve Korpi's cult blues punks the Crack Pipes, the virtuoso, post-roots eclecticism of the Invincible Czars (Kahan), and Anderson and Peterson's good old fashioned ATX weirdness, Cat Scientist. Yeow.”

“The lyrics [Doerr] writes for Churchwood are a sort of gutter poetry in which French symbolism meets American beats’ free verse, stirred up by a bit of a Screaming Jay Hawkins gross-out. He is not the type who wakes up in the morning and looks around for his shoes because he has those mean ol’ blues.”

“There’s certainly nothing else like them on that vaunted Austin scene, and very little else like them in the rest of the world. But they are among the most legit blues-rock bands out there.”

“This band does not play “tasty” licks in honor of the great blues originals; this band is — or, rather, appears to be — anarchistic, as well as deranged, abrasive, eerie, feral, maniacal and stunningly literate.”

“In all, 2 does what good sophomore records should (but so rarely do): consolidates the strengths of the debut while making inroads into an expanded universe. Excellent.”

“Churchwood has enough guitar action to cause Robert Cray to spontaneously combust should he approach within a 13-block radius.”

“These guys would've made a great triple bill with Top Jimmy & the Rhythm Pigs and the Gun Club.”

“Grungy, growly and gruff, out of focus, rough around the edges - maybe this used to be blues - drunkard's blues.”

“Churchwood `'2'' is a model of simplicity all the way from Texas on Saustex Records.”

“Churchwood is back, this time with a new full length album, simply entitled Churchwood 2. This Austin, TX band is a wild bunch of snake-eyed rhythm devils. Those who remember their debut album and were wowed by it will be delighted to revel in this one.”

"2" is an excellent indication that Churchwood aren’t just a two-horse band, but that they have a barn-load of eccentricities.

“Somewhere in between Rev. Horton Heat, Captain Beefheart, a Texas-style Nick Cave as well as The Cramps.”

“Moody, mighty, sinister sounds that somehow become roots music by putting some mortar and pestle action to country, rock, jazz, blues, punk, experimental, and whatever it is that Beefheart did on even days. Sly lyrics and ominous vocals make this album enjoyably disconcerting.”

“The band...knows its way around blues, roots rock, punk and more, but that doesn't mean Churchwood doesn't relish mixing it all together, shaking it all up and unleashing the result with volume, venom and verve. ”

“Blues meets musical anarchy when Churchwood steps up.”

“Launching its latest Saustex Records release, 2, Churchwood hypnotizes the Hole in the Wall with Beefheart blues and brain-bent poetry. The cast of local music vets, starring LeRoi Brother Joe Doerr as a lysergic lounge singer and his Hand of Glory bandmate (and Poison 13 standout) Bill Anderson teamed with Crack Pipes six-stringer Billy Steve Korpi, always leave eyes dilated.”

“On their sophomore full-length, cleverly entitled Churchwood 2, they ride that pony a little farther down the line...Pick of the litter, and a powerful incentive to see these guys live if you can.”

"Money Shot Man" gets some Nawlins spice from the addition of a three-piece horn section, while the closing "New Moon" progresses in fits and starts to shuffle along like an outtake from the first Moby Grape album.

"You Be the Mountain (I'll Be Mohammad)" churns up a welter of funk that hits like an alternate-universe amalgam of Little Feat, Westbound-era Funkadelic, and The Cry of Love.

“Joe Doerr's tortured tonsils and perspicacious pen remain the primary focus, ably abetted by slashing dual guitars and an agile riddim section.”

“You won’t find many hellhound tales that start off like this: “Aranzazu, you there in the briars/ the hounds pursue me and I’m redolent of fire.” But, really, it’s the band’s intensity, with weird time signatures and nasty guitar riffs, that you’ll walk out of a Churchwood show remembering.”

“Like the old wooden Baptist church on a country road that gave them their name, Churchwood houses a whole lot of frantic energy during their blues services.”

“Gruff, threatening, slightly bizarre, and 110% badass noisemaking.”

“Churchwood melds cranky honky-tonk, dirty soul that winks at Jon Spencer, and backporch funk.”

“Poison 13 survivor Bill Anderson and Billysteve Korpi of the Crack Pipes are guitarists at odds, yielding triumph and counterpoint in perfectly measured bursts of manic backing for Joe Doerr's inimitable turns of phrase.”

“Perhaps the best of the stack is Churchwood's "Just the Two of Us" (Saustex), a freak-blues assault on every soulless bar band playing passable Stevie Ray covers.”

“[Churchwood's "Just the Two of Us"] is even rawer and more savage than their eponymous, full-length debut CD.”

“On this release, entitled Just the Two of Us, Churchwood comes at you with their brand of full-tilt punk-rock/psychobilly. If you want a comparison, well, think of a cross between The Cramps and The Blasters.”

“From the get-go, Churchwood let loose and play like there’s no tomorrow, with reckless abandon and fueled-up fervor. But don’t let that belie the fact that these cats are intelligent.”

“The axe interplay between Bill Anderson and Billysteve Korpi recalls Richard Hell's Voidoids as much as the classic Magic Band tandems.”

"Metanoia" features chattering contrapuntal guitars against a steady rhythm, while Doerr commands us to "Siddown and shut your pie hole" with the authority of Mojo Nixon channeling Tom Waits.

“On "Just the Two of Us"... they demonstrate that they have more than a few tricks up their collective sleeve.”

“Austin Top Ten for 2011: #5) Churchwood, Churchwood (Saustex)”

“Churchwood plies spiraling avant-blues against absurdist lyrical imagery in a manner that leaves listeners pleasantly off-center.”

“You can hear the spirit of Captain Beefheart grunting and snorting all over this auspicious debut.”

“Churchwood create a voodoo Blues brew on the self-titled release. In theory, chaos has found a new home.”

“Perfect for something like a Coen Brothers film soundtrack.”

“Better take a handful of Dramamine before you try on “Supermonisticgnostiphistic” and “Pontiac Flanagan”, they are spinners with no care for directional changes.”

“Churchwood craft their version of The Blues with broken mirror edges and tight turn angles.”

“Dangerous, foreboding, in-your-face.”

“Albumet prydes av et røntgen-bilde der en person skyter seg selv i foten. Det ser på ingen måte behagelig ut og er således en treffende (!) refleksjon av den medfarten som bluesen får i Churchwoods hender.”

“I dub Churchwood the crazy, thinking man's blues band.”

“If Mike Patton ever led a blues band on an impromptu 30-night tour through Louisiana swamp country, the end result might sound something like Churchwood's latest offering.”

“Dense and nasty, literate and mean, Austin’s Churchwood sounds like Captain Beefheart trying to cut Tom Waits’ throat with a rusty harmonica.”

“My favorite track, bound for my ipod for repeated listens, is a badass brawler called Pity the Noose. It fits into a little genre of songs I like to call “Bad News” songs, in honor of Johnny Cash’s ode to tough sons of bitches.”

“With this CD, you get excellent musicianship, great production, whipsmart lyrics full of nearly psychedelic wordplay and even snatches of French and Spanish, as well as dips into a more dark and gritty neighborhood welcome to fans of “traditional” blues.”

“A powerful, unique rock record that stings the mind and prods the soul.”

“They are dangerous, exciting and their debut album sounds like it fell out of a rock n roll tree, hit every deranged blues branch on the way down and got up spitting and snarling to go spread its mad dog message to the people.”

“Even if your notion of what you like about Texas has more to do with Ernest Tubb than Stevie Ray Vaughn, you still may find something to like in the prog blues of CHURCHWOOD.”

“Smart, bluesy bar rock.”

“Joe Doerr’s vocal delivery is what excites me the most. He possesses a fantastic voice for this genre and this band – deep, resonant and with a lot of punch.”

“Theatrical and sociopathic, Churchwood swaggers mightily on punch-you-in-face tracks like “Pity the Noose.””

“An evil new twist on blues-rock that takes the music far beyond the too-common Stevie Ray mega-solo blues-jam template.”

“CHURCHWOOD!!!! These guys bring it!! Love this fuckin song! Fuck John Lomax fer sayin’, in the Houston Press, that Austin doesn’t have a scene anymore. Proof positive! Hey Lomax, come see CHURCHWOOD!”

“Equal parts catchy and downright scary.”

“Don't let the "church" fool you; this Austin quintet certainly isn't spreading that gospel.”

“It’s wild and actually wooly, this Austin amalgam of Delta grind, slit-wrist punk and Captain Beefheart-y weird-rock.”

“Another winner from Saustex Media.”

““Fire,” Doerr rails, over a rattling rhythm from bassist Adam Kahan and drummer Julien Peterson, “everything must go” — and you can almost smell the glowing ash.”

“Recommended if you like: Capt. Beefheart & the Magic Band, The U-Men, Richard Hell & THe Void-Oids”

“Guitarists Bill Anderson and Billysteve (yep, one word) Korpi turn the blues inside out on Churchwood’s “Vendidi Fumar,” then wear it around like Lady Gaga’s meat dress.”

“The heavy rambling guitars are as diverse as the lyrics; you don’t learn this in song writing classes.”

“Churchwood don’t deal in lullabies.”

“The drums are from the John Bonham school of kickass while the bass leaves a dirty sonic footprint everywhere it wanders.”

“Joe Doerr's vocals do jangle with the bravado of a snake-oil salesman making a pitch to the wide-eyed.”

“The members of Churchwood have been performing for well over 20 years, and have given birth to an album that will appease blues enthusiasts without surrendering any crossover appeal for strict rockers.”

“These Texans are bloozin' it up because they got something smart and ugly to say — That they seem quite possibly out of their gourd nuts doesn't hurt!”

“Casually weird but ever cognizant of the beat at the heart of the blues, Churchwood sets a new standard for Texas-bred mannish boys.”

“Nothing safe here, just music for driving the highways after midnight on a moonless night.”

“This is no minstrel show.”

“Bill Anderson weaves a web of sinister skronk alongside guitarist Billy Steve Korpi, while vocalist Joe Doerr summons a bellowing Beefheart brogue for the travelogue.”

“Cool raw rockers include "Pontiac Flanagan," "Vendidi Fumar," "Can O' Worms," and "Car Crash." Top pick.”

“Rude, literate, bilingual, unpredictable, and addictive.”

“Jazz-damaged drummer Julien Peterson and busy four-stringer Adam Kahan nail the base of jazz-inflected grooves to the ground while letting the ends flap in the wind.”

“Singer Joe Doerr had the fervor of a revival tent preacher, though he wasn't necessarily working from the Good Book.”

“These guys are downright literate.”

"Melungeon in the Dungeon," "Pity the Noose" and (deep breath) "Supermonisticgnostiphistic" get the manic mojo working.

“Anderson and co-axeman Billysteve Korpi eschew guitar solos and instead weave complementary guitar lines around each other like snakes trying to mate.”

“Doerr rides this tiger with a twinkle in his eye and steel wool in his throat.”

“Driving rhythms, herky jerky guitar riffs, and raw vocals combine to create a cool whirlwind of infectious alternative bluesy rock energy.”

“Wake up, fans of Hermann Hesse and Carlos Santana. There’s a song called “Abraxas.” This is a spoken-word piece with a bluesy backdrop and a beatnik vibe.”

“Churchwood doesn’t exactly sound like the Captain on its new self-titled album. It just shares his ability to take the essence of primitive blues and mutate it into something new.”

“Our guess is that this self-titled album will appeal equally to older fans as well as college kids.”

“On “Ulysses,” Churchwood cleverly mixes references to the hero of the Odyssey, the hard-drinking Civil War general, and James Joyce.”

“The music is so upbeat and rocking that you get the feeling it’s been a pretty fun joyride until the moment of impact.”

“This is one rabbit hole you won't mind falling down.”

“A tapestry of interlocking, complimentary riffs and jazzy grooves over which Doerr rants and rumbles with his baritone growl.”

Michael Toland - Rabid in the Kennel

““Rimbaud Diddley,” “Metatonia” and “Lived Ill Weed Eye” would probably baffle the average Stevie Ray Vaughan fan, but they’re shots across the bow of a mordant local roots rock scene.”

“Despite having two hotshot axe-slingers in the lineup, the music mostly eschews the guitar solos that dominate the Austin blues rock scene.”

“Churchwood has their own, original-sounding style — great band, great songwriting and catchy hooks; all ingredients for a sonic delight; indie or otherwise.”

“Herky-jerky rhythms, the trebly contrapuntal guitars, the bellowing declamatory vocals — if you're a sucker for that kind of jive like I am, these guys might be _just your meat_.”

“Though its members reside in Austin, wiry avant-blues collective Churchwood found its groove near the Dadaland exit off Highway 61.”

“Austin's dapper Churchwood played blues rock like a butcher knife: sharp and greasy with the potential to draw blood.”

“Bottom line: Churchwood sounds like they'd be a lot of fun to see in a bar. You could even cut a rug to 'em, if you were so inclined.”

“A literate and bluesy stew of guitar rock that doesn't sound like anybody else around.”

“Critics Poll, Best Local Show: CHURCHWOOD @ The Hole in the Wall”

“A tasty mixture of greasy blues rock, deranged intellect and mudhole-stomping Texas attitude, Churchwood once again illustrates what a post-punk Skip James might have sounded like had he gotten into the lysergic weirdness of 13th Floor Elevators.”

“Bill Anderson simply lashes the Beat-poet stream-of-consciousness lyrics of singer Joe Doerr.”

“Austin's Churchwood ooze a seedy blues-punk glamour that would do the Gun Club proud.”

“Doerr talks about salvation, about Orwellian nightmares, about cheaters and murderers and Mohammad’s mountain and an unknowable mystery woman named Aranzazu, and selling your dumbass some ocean front property in Arizona — all amid this flurry of furious sound.”

“Like depression era music...we are in a depression...Churchwood’s latest offering of “2” lets the sounds of confusion and blues country swamp fry your brain like it’s going out of style.”

“Somehow, Churchwood makes this pocket-flask full of intoxicating contradictions work — offering something as loud musically as it is contemplative lyrically, as raucous as it is interestingly constructed, utterly grounded and yet still completely out of the world.”