The many faces of Ryan Adams
Ryan Adams’s transition from Whiskeytown frontman to solo artist wasn’t exactly smooth. For starters, he managed to indulge in enough rock-star bad-boy behavior to piss off a portion of his core audience. And then he just didn’t seem ready to deliver the goods in the studio. Well, the latter has certainly changed: he’s released half-a-dozen studio albums since hooking up with Lost Highway in 2003. And now he’s got 14 more albums under various aliases at his multimedia website, which includes a retro-futuristic jukebox that streams tunes by Adams’s electronica alter-ego DJ Reggie, his punk band the Shit, and his even-punker hardcore outfit WereWolph. All the discs, along with the entire Adams catalog, are for sale. And there’s even a cool video game if you punch the right button at www.ryan-adams.com/cardinalRadio.html.
The Shit, “Fuckin’ A God”
Actually more of a metal send-up, with Darkness-style falsetto vocals and a muscular classic guitar riff, this track from the Shit’s Holy Shit! does have a moshable refrain and a little prog-rock passage. And it’s every bit as funny as its title suggests.
DJ Reggie, “DJ Reggie Is Back”
Fuzz bass, a thumping groove, and washes of white noise threaten to blot out the soulful styling of Adams the emcee on this track from the disc 1980 x 1,000. You can just about imagine Adams losing himself in the latest Roland gear as he pumps out his version of the hits. Not much in the way of flow or lyrics, but Adams may be in line for some remix work.
DJ Reggie, “Space Is Big (Whatever)”
A more-typical DJ Reggie tune, this track from HollaDayz Inn is pure smoove groove, with Adams engaging in some laid-back free associating . . . “Yo . . . space . . . it’s a big fucking area . . . ” YouknowhatI’msayin’ . . .
WereWolph, “Evil Weekend”
So far, there’s only one WereWolph disc, and its title is priceless: Feel the Laser. This track opens with pure feedback before getting down to the grind, with stoner guitars raging and Adams screaming about all kinds of evil shit, “Rats eat eyeballs . . . everyone dies . . . in the land of the slime . . . you will eat them.” The real WereWolf better watch their asses.
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