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Friday
Mar222013

SWAMP DOGG - Total Destruction To Your Mind / Rat On!

Previously available on a cheaply packaged two-fer, it's great to see Swamp Dogg's first two albums getting the reissue treatment they deserve courtesy of Alive Records. This is top-notch funky soul that pulls no punches in lyrical content. Worth the purchase for one of the most unique record covers you'll ever see...Rat On!

"Industry veteran Jerry Williams, Jr. unleashed his alter ego on his 1970 masterpiece Total Destruction To Your Mind, spelling out his unconventional views in groove-heavy soul music. He makes good on the title’s brag with catchy, original songs that touch on environmental decay, social isolation, dystopian visions, racism and questions of paternity. Williams' lyrics are often Zappa-like in their surface absurdity, but there’s a gripping observation or lament at each song's heart. Recorded at Capricorn Studios in Macon, GA, his band is soaked in the horns, low bass and guitar riffs of Southern soul, and touched by the propulsion of West Coast funk. It’s hard to imagine how this record (as well as follow-up Rat On!, an album better known for its cover than its content) has remained so obscure and hard to find.

Listened to in passing, Rat On! offers top-flight '70s southern soul, with deep bass and punchy horns. But listened to more carefully, the album reveals a daring songwriter who wasn’t afraid to tell it as he saw it, challenging society's icons of freedom with 'God Bless America For What?' and landing himself on Nixon’s enemies list. The album features soulful reworkings of the Bee Gees' 'Got to Get a Message to You' and Mickey Newbury's 'She Even Woke Me Up to Say Goodbye,' and though the original tunes aren't nearly as absurd as those on Total Destruction To Your Mind, their messages are just as powerful, and their grooves are just as deep." - No Depression

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