The Ferocious Few - "Juices" CD Review (Birdman Records) ~ BrooklynRocks: NYC Music Blog

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Ferocious Few - "Juices" CD Review (Birdman Records)

The Ferocious Few - 'Juices' CD Review (Birdman Records)Two-piece rock bands have been around long before the White Stripes garnered mass-media attention for (among other things) not having a bass player. Where the White Stripes now have a high-gloss sheen, San Francisco’s The Ferocious Few bash out their brand of lo-fi blues-rock with the fervor and energy of a booze-soaked Southern preacher. In a recent interview, guitarist/vocalist Francisco Fernandez described the band’s music as “stripped down rockabilly rock n' roll. A lot of songs about love and heartbreak and with lots of energy…people have said it's a mixture between Bob Dylan and Motorhead.

Fernandez and drummer Daniel Aquilar got their start busking on street corners in San Francisco and the band started getting national attention when they gave an unofficial/guerilla performance at SXSW a few years back in front of a hot dog stand well off the main strip. After spending the last few years building a strong following by playing anywhere and everywhere, The Ferocious Few was given an official slot at SXSW and Birdman Records released the band’s debut disc Juices early last year.

The new disc’s fifteen tracks run just over 40 minutes and the band clearly works well with this less-is-more format. Fernandez sings in a whiskey soaked voice which is somewhat reminiscent of the Meat Puppets’ Curt Kirkwood as both vocalists have an emotive style that allows them to go from punk to sun-cracked Americana at the blink of an eye. Aquilar keeps the beat with a steady one-two punch and this studio recording allowed the opportunity for the band to add keyboard and bass to a few tracks.

The disc starts out strong with the snarling “Gasoline & Cocaine” which is complete with slashing guitar lines, sneered vocals and pounding drums. The band keeps the pace of the disc moving with other rockers (“Loc’d Out” and “Kathleen”, which features a memorable garage-rock organ line) that are interspersed with smoldering blues numbers (“Cryin' Shame”, “Me And The Devil”). Adding to the musical stew, other songs include elements of soul, alt-country and "Dylanish" folk (“Lord Oh Lord”, "Crazy Love"). Wrapping everything up, the disc ends on a strong note with the acoustic ballad "16th St".

Stylistically, this disc is all over the map but that just adds to its ramshackle charm.

The Ferocious Few - "Crying Shame", "Loc'd Out" and "Ghost In a Shell" (?) Live in San Francisco

The Ferocious Few