Long Island (CD, 2LP)

    No Quarter

  • $12.99

Despite most avid music fans' hunger for the new, the next, the fresh and forward-thinking, the best albums are timeless rather than trendy, and I have little doubt that Endless Boogie have delivered one of the more enjoyable and enduring records that I will hear this year. This long-running New York band plays raw, nearly ritualistic guitar rock at its most primal and pure, and they do it without image, without attitude, without posture -- it's almost hard to imagine a group like this surviving in a city where Williamsburg, Brooklyn would be considered the cultural center of anything, and yet not only do they endure, they seem to thrive here, and Long Island is nothing short of a classic. Eight sprawling tracks built around a pounding rhythm section and three -- yes three -- transcendental guitars, the interplay between Jesper Eklow's defining rhythm playing, frontman Paul Major's unhinged leads, and (not so) secret weapon Matt Sweeney's swirling counterpoint is pretty much unmatched in modern rock. These songs rise out of the primordial ooze of swampy jam sessions, obviously drawing on boogie rock, but as deep as the best Krautrock and stoned psychedelia, with hints of everything from the Stones to V.U. to AC/DC and the Flamin' Groovies, delivered straight, no chaser. And on this new one the band has pushed themselves in new directions, with more subtle and varied guitar grooves, and Major's usual gruff vocals taking several wonderful tangents, from a whisper to a murmur to a howl, as his lyrics let in an endlessly intriguing cast of characters and settings, from Civil War-era heroes to '70s NYC hustlers to high school burnouts. Goddamn I love this album. It won't change the world, but it just might save the day.

-Josh Madell (February 20, 2013)

"Taking Out the Trash"