Are the Waco Brothers — a 20-year vet outfit — hanging it up? The album title and an initial lyric that goes “This is the first song/Of the last record” are ominous signals. But if so, drummer Jo Camarillo, mandolinist Tracey Dear, bassist Alan Doughty, guitarist Johnny (Jon) Langford and guitarist Deano Schlabowske, know how to hit the exit — rockin’ and stompin’ and leave the crowd wantin’ more. The big problem with the Wacos for about a decade now is that they sometimes seemed a bit bored with themselves, stuck in second gear as they looked for a new direction.
Which turns out to be to evoke everybody from Captain Beefheart to Warren Zevon to the Small Faces (cover of the classic “All or Nothing,” dedicate to late buddy Ian McLagan) as you fry the highway and skate the curves. Jon Langford commands us to “commit to something drastic” in the title track, Deano makes noise like its Wreturn of Wreck time and if Electric Waco Chair was more, uh, “nuanced,” I’m still tossing this toward affirmed fans and curiosity-kicked newbies, too.
[Edit: stupid screw-up corrected.]