Doug Cox from the Hangmen has a kind of country-ish singer songwriter band now, and damn is this kind of blowing away the competition (though I’m not quite sure who that would be), even including some of his own fine work in the past. When he compares love to a “slaughterhouse” and sings about going out to the desert to get clean of heroin with a lover, only to have to high-tail it back and score before they lose their minds, it doesn’t sound exploitative or hyperbolic as it might in the hands of a more Hollywood songwriter, like Sheryl Crow. It feels like something Cox has the grit of in his blood. And somehow, it’ll feel personal for you, too, even if the closest you’ve ever been to heroin in the desert is stomping out a cigarette in the sand.
-D. M. Collins
TRAMP FOR THE LORD: Self-titled: CD Soporific, occasionally country-twinged (mostly) acoustic music from Doug Cox, bassist of ‘80s L.A. rockers The Hangmen. The minimal production/performance of the songs is oddly fitting as an ultimate delivery for the package, with the lion’s share of the tracks featuring only Cox’s sedate warble and his guitar both awash in reverb keeping things simple and the attention focused on the song instead of hiding ‘em under all sorts of digital doohickeys and tricks. Is any of this likely to burn up the charts? Highly doubt it, and to assume that’s the ultimate intent is to miss the point entirely. –Jimmy Alvarado (Tramp For The Lord, email@example.com)