Old Time Relijun, “Dragon Juice” (K)
One of the most distinctive and feral rock groups in the Northwest, Old Time Relijun are roaring back to something like full-on working-band status after many years of sporadic activity. They have an imminent West Coast tour, including dates in Olympia, Portland, and Seattle, with the classic lineup of leader Arrington de Dionyso (vocals, guitar, sax), Aaron Hartman (upright bass), Germaine Baca (drums), and Benjamin Hartman (saxophone, percussion). Plus, they're releasing a new album next March via K Records titled See Now and Know, their first since 2007's Catharsis in Crisis. Initial listens to See Now and Know reveal a strong CAN influence: think "Halleluwah" and "Soul Desert". It's a stunning comeback record, for sure.
One of that LP's best cuts, "Dragon Juice" busts out of the gate with a strutting funk flourish, bearing echoes of '70s Captain Beefheart (that zonked guitar twang) and CAN's "Vitamin C" (the rugged bass and drum interplay). Hartman's sax conjures the lurid party vibes of Pigbag and Blurt while de Dionyso's guttural vocals and throat singing suggest intense ribaldry. "Who's got the juice when all hell breaks loose?" he grunts, and one listen tells you who it is (spoiler: that guy on the mic). Old Time Relijun return with bacchanalian swagger, and it's just what the witch doctor ordered.