We Don’t need no stinkin’ Country… We’ve Got: The Beaumonts!

Posted: February 26, 2013 in New Indie Music

Beaumonts coverThe Beaumonts

Where Do You Want It

Saustex Media, 2013

Review by Kent Manthie

 

    On this second of CDs by a quintet from Lubbock, Texas’s, The Beaumonts, entitled Where Do You Want It we get a follow-up from their debut as The Beaumonts “continue to right the wrongs of the recent musical past…” (from the promo bio sheet).

The Beaumonts are a curiosity, indeed.  Before I hit “play” on my CD player I thought for sure that I was going to have a disc that I could rip on, since I’ve had so many CDs that have been from “mediocre-OK” to “WOW” that I haven’t, so far, anyway, received any really shitty music.  I guess that comes from a bit of self-selection, receiving music from a few labels that have great rosters of bands which, for the most part, are pleasing.  And the other thing is that I’ve gotten a lot of DIY homemade super lo fi stuff that is the epitome of cognitive dissonance, with a lot of “bent circuitry, homemade noise devices and well…just about everything but the kitchen sink.  Since I know that it’s such an easy target – too easy to just dismiss and say it’s nothing but noise and (sounding like someone’s old dad) “my five-year old kid could do better…” (you hear that a lot with so-called “modern art”-to me art’s art:  ars gratia artis.  You know.

But, I digress…when I listened to the first cut on Where Do You Want It, “I Like Drinking”, I was laughing my ass off – “I like to drink/I like dance/I like to get high”  – that being the chorus.  Then, the second cut, “I Like Women” was equally humorous.  Then there’s the laugh-out-loud “(If You Don’t) Love the Lord” which is a scream – “If you don’t love the lord, you’re fuckin’ fucked…” (2x) and then “If you don’t love the lord you’re fuckin’ fucked, just like a whore…” – goddamn that is funny!!!

At first glance The Beaumonts seem like a total Country & Western band and, well, maybe they are, in a twisted, crazy-funny way, but they are unlike any country outfit I’ve heard – especially the corn-syrup crap that you hear when you are stuck somewhere where they’re playing a country radio station or album, etc., like a convenience store/gas station or whatever… you stand in line and this awful, twangy, rhythm-impaired white-bread bumpkin junk with the dumbest lyrics you could ever think of (or worse, depends on your imagination) splatter over the rest of it and if you don’t get out of there soon you start feeling nauseated and want to vomit.

At least the Beaumonts aren’t so syrupy and have some damn funny lyrics to boot.  It’s hard to tell if they’re a total parody or if they really are country but want to present their twisted sense of humor and off-the-wall way of looking at life in this format.  Of course, the setting is just perfect – and Country Music is essential for the lyrics, the style as well as the mise en scene.

Where Do You Want It is just screamingly funny – funny in a way that the hardcore/punk band FEAR’s debut, The Record was.  I just can’t imagine how crazy a live show would be by The Beaumonts.  Whatever you do, though, make sure you get familiar with them and check out this album.  It will put Country in a whole new light for you (though, all these Country idiot right-wing nuts who sing about how great living in America is and what a great guy George W. Bush is and all this stupid propaganda that Dick Cheney just laughs his head off over when he’s alone at home.

The Beaumonts may not be taken seriously by some – there are some die-hards out there who think that calling a spade a spade is giving country a bad name – WHAT?  So, why does humor have to make a good band seem silly or like some sort of novelty act?  That was proven to be way off base – if you can remember Frank Zappa, for one thing – Zappa was hilarious!   On everything from his & the Mothers first albums:  Freak Out, Absolutely Free, We’re Only In It For the Money, Weasels Ripped My Flesh, to his solo stuff, Hot Rats, the mostly instrumental Grand Wazoo, to his revolving door-bands of the mid-late 70s with their classics:  Zoot Allures, Sheik Yerbouti, Joe’s Garage among lots of others.  Zappa was not only a satirical, laugh-out-loud humorist, but he was a genius musical virtuoso, who was not only a fiery guitarist who left one with dropped jaw and a state of shock after one of his mind-blowing LOUD solos, he was also a multi-instrumentalist, a genuine composer, rather than just a songwriter, writing and arranging the music for all the myriad parts of his extensive ensembles and, of course he was a fiercely perfectionist producer, knowing which little details needed to be changed and which ones worked, etc.  Zappa is and will always be a legend, one that cannot ever be duplicated – and since album one, humor has been his main lyrical point, although, between the guffaws and the lewd jokes of “Dinah-Moe Humm”, “Didja Get Any Onya?” as well as “Who Are the Brain Police?”, he had some social commentary to slip in, a la “Trouble Everyday”, on his Mothers debut, Freak Out, a certified classic.

Anyway, the point is, you don’t have to be a right-wing shill, pretending that America is this great “shining city on a hill” or something and some other over the top poetic bullshit – the US is a money-hungry, war-machine that cares little about social justice.  Sure, there are lots of individuals that can claim that mantle – both elected officials and hard-working activists, etc, but as far as the governments policies – domestic and foreign – we are a bully to the rest of the world and when we give in to the Republicans, bad things happen – spending cuts are made, the kind that screw the poor, the needy, the hungry and the homeless – but does the GOP ever consider cutting defense spending?  The wasteful, ever-skyrocketing budget for defense?  HELL NO!  That is a sacred cow that no Republican would even dare mention (kind of like “I support Israel 100% no matter how much they abuse the Palestinians and break international law, which is just a joke anyway to Washington-because, as we saw with Chuck Hagel, who had the balls to stand up to the AIPAC parasites, he was vilified and smeared by strategic missiles aimed at derailing his SECDEF confirmation, which, at this revision, he won, by a somewhat slim margin.

But, I digress.  I love the Beaumonts for a return to the days of Hank Williams, The Statler Brothers, Buck Owens, Georges Strait & Jones, Tammy Wynette, Loretta Lynn and of course, the man in black himself, the late, great Johnny Cash – who really knew how to craft a song that held your attention and, while full of depraved stories and liquor fueled craziness and cocaine binges, etc., was a regal figure, respected the music world over.  We need to dump the corny Garth Brooks types and Toby Keiths and Trace Adkinses and all those goofy “My country, right or wrong” types.  The kind of jerks who were anathema to the antiwar movement of the Vietnam era – which means that they liked the idea of continuing a war that was meaningless, killing Americans by the score and didn’t have any positive outcome.  Those people were just the John Birch lunatic fringe that no one would miss if they disappeared from the planet.

Anyway, The Beaumonts and their ilk these days are playing to a new generation and have a much more laid back, liquor backed frenzy of fun, fun, fun.  Life’s a gas, life is short so why take things so damn serious?  Put yer kicks on,  baby, we’re going to the bar and hear this raucous, raw band bring the house down and the roof will fall on a laughing bunch of folks.  Keep it up!  We need more like you!  And, thanks, Saustex – you are to be commended for finding these bands and getting them the exposure they deserve!!        -KM

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Comments
  1. Having seen my share of Beaumont’s shows, the live shows are just as crazy as you would expect. Their playing is dead on, and they sound as good live as they do on their recordings, *very* talented musicians who do a humorous interpretation of a genre they hold quite a lot of love for (at least in the traditional country sense.)

  2. Amish Tom says:

    Country has gone to hell, outside of a handfull of acts (some also on SAUSTEX and play many of the same venues). They decided to fix it and write about things that are true in life, like the old cats did. And they are all well accomplished musicians. The stuff you hear on the radio is a sad parody. The Beaumonts are REAL. Hank Williams sang love songs and drinking songs but he never sang the sort of garbage on the mainstream outlets like CMT and TNN.

    Cool dudes performing a community service for the entire world. Taking it back to the days when Ira Louvin (Louvin Brothers, look em up if you don’t know them) tried to strangle his wife with a telephone cord and she shot him eight times, because it was only an eight shot revolver, or she’d have shot him more. She said so. Louvins never wrote a song about such things, even if they historically happened. The Beaumonts have the balls to write the songs about such things with a large dose of humor in the mix.

    The Beaumonts bring country back to it’s original roots and play and record in a fashion truthful to the music. You should get the first disc, too. You’ll like it.

    Not a “comedy act”, a REAL COUNTRY BAND, full of REAL COOL PEOPLE that actually can play their own instruments and don’t use autotune or lazy-man processing, as they don’t need to.

    • kmanthie says:

      To Amish Tom: you know, I totally agree that Country music was at its best back in the good old days in the 50s & 60s, when people like Hank Williams wrote some pretty good stuff – not just the sad, broken-hearted love songs that still sound haunting after all these years, but also the ones that you mentioned, as well as the early days of artists like Buck Owens, Merle Haggard, Loretta Lynn and let’s not forget JOHNNY CASH – a man who will forever be remembered as The Man in Black – he was a brash, ballsy, fiery son-of-a-bitch (in a good way, I mean) who never cared what the record company suits thought – he did his thing and his fans loved it – and I know he made a lot of confined inmates really happy, if just for a little while when he did his shows at San Quentin and Folsom. He’ll be forever remembered. But I don’t know what you’re taking issue with – sure I found The Beaumonts hilarious and irreverent with a great lyrical display, but don’t get me wrong – I think they play their music with a great, thundrous, unyielding force that dares to be turned down and the only thing better than listening to them on CD would be to see them play in a small-ish club sometime. So, thanks for that follow-up comment – in fact, you got me thinking and because of it, I went and re-did the last part, taking the last paragraph out and instead, adding about 3 or 4 more, just to illustrate the points I just made – and to sort of respond there to what you pointed out. So, thanks for that. I’m glad I was able to clear things up for you and whomever else didn’t catch what I was driving for.

      Take it easy, Kent.

      • Amish Tom says:

        No problem. I wasn’t intentionally taking issue with anything. I was just saying what I think and I happen to know some of them pretty well on a social and music related stuff level. The “not a comedy act” was for the benefit of people that might have read your review and got a wrong impression, wasn’t any bone to pick with you. They are as funny as Mojo and the Beat Farmers and I have that F.E.A.R. album still, but they are what they are. Some people do similar things as a theatrical endeavor. They put the band together to do stuff they all mostly agreed would be fun and it happened to somewhat catch on.

        Catch a live show sometime and they’ll do everything you like and blow doors on a Motorhead tune, not being ironic and doing “look we are a country band playing Motorhead” 🙂 They do it like all us Texas kiddos of middle aged who studied metal and Bob Wills would do it! They do a mean metal and early prog rock and blues rock interlude here and there when they feel like it. Best way to witness the wide range of stuff they are capable of is to not request anything and kick back and enjoy, as it should be.

        No harm or foul at either end with “us” as far as I’m concerned.

        Take care and keep on keeping your ears to the ground for cool stuff.

        AT

      • kmanthie says:

        Right on- I totally agree with what you’re saying and I thought I’d made that more clear than I might’ve in the review. But I do think they would be an enjoyable act to see live. Anyway, thanks for the feedback and I hope you come back soon for more stuff. I guess the title of the review might’ve thrown people off a bit – it wasn’t supposed to be negative – at least towards the band… Later, Kent

        ________________________________

      • kmanthie says:

        That is true – I would very much enjoy seeing these guys live. I never meant to be down on these guys – just the corny, phony country music you hear on radio, etc. But I may have misled people with the review title – it was meant tongue & cheek, not as a dig to the band… thanks for the feedback! Hope you come back and check us out again…KM

  3. Amish Tom says:

    Did you Say Toby?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XrlHQOQZouY Studio fun
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jJPC197KJOA Live at one of the cooler area venues.

    Cheers,
    AT

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