WHO ARE THEY? A self-described “hillbilly urban blues two-men band” of two French brothers who play guitar and drums — though these recordings also feature keyboards, bass and other other instruments.
WHAT IS THIS? Their second studio album of raw-boned rock, roots, punk, blues, rockabilly and surf, the wild ’n’ woolly Stack-O-Lee is vaguely reminiscent of a less-manic Jon Spencer (no surprise, since it was produced by Spencer cohort Matt Verta-Ray) — and a disc that actually features a slate of original tunes, though its title suggests otherwise.
WHAT DOES IT SOUND LIKE? An album that handily lives up to its geographical handle despite the players’ origins. In fact, if you didn’t know where the Schmidt brothers got their passports, you might assume they were from the south or midwestern U.S., based on their hard-twanging guitars and bar-band punch.
WHAT SHOULD IT BE TITLED? Franco-Americana.
HOW SHOULD I LISTEN TO IT? While appreciating the apparently endless roster of European artists who manage to play American music just as well as the Yankees — if not better.
WHAT 10 WORDS SUM IT UP? Old-school, immediate, potent, rollicking, scrappy, earthy, gritty, crunchy, twangy, rugged.
WHAT ARE THE BEST SONGS? The slashing kickoff Neon Devil, the organ-swelled and horn-hopped Holy Book, the burly punkabilly blasts Trojan War and Home Run, the updated Sun Studios jangle of Soldier’s Lament, the Bo Diddley-style rocker H. Musth.
WHAT WILL MY FRIENDS SAY? ‘If you could get an American visa for playing the blues, these guys would be totally in.’
HOW OFTEN WILL I LISTEN TO IT? It’s good for a few spins.
IF THIS ALBUM WERE FOOD, WHAT WOULD IT BE? A bleu cheeseburger.
SHOULD I BUY, STREAM OR STEAL IT? It only makes sense to stream the Juice — though you may decide they’re actually good enough to earn your dough.