Listen here you filthy ner’-do-well, oh you procrastinator and vile pollutant of cultures centuries’ old and trawler of the cultural gutter looking for the occasional gems that appear in the sewage river, gems so dazzling they make you momentarily forget your shit-caked fingers and just appreciate the beauty. Listen here because this very night a portal appeared in ancient unborn space, in its brief period of activity it formed a gateway between the cultural sewer and a far-off star with a mantle composed of semi-liquid awesome. Through it slipped Acid Funk Blues Booze quad Hot Lunch, and their debut album, also called Hot Lunch. This is another Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell-type trip, right? Full on throwback atavistic shoulder-swayin’ rock and roll so powerful you better check the fillings in your teeth before punching the volume. I’ve always said that the best album of all time probably exists in an alternate universe with Leaf Hound playing Blue Cheer riffs to songs by the Gun. Or something like that. Perhaps Vulcan jamming the first side of the Groundhog’s seminal Split heckled by Sir Lord Baltimore, or the stunning early Sabbath stuff grooved out by late-period Airplane with Hendrix on lead axe… Maybe just the yankee Lamp of Thoth. I don’t even know. The eternal muso question of ‘but whom gave birth to their mung worship?' has led people on a rollicking diagram-making tour through the bands you know (Sabbath, Zep, Purple, Hendrix, Cream) through the bands you should (Blue Cheer, Baltimore, Groundhogs, Pentagram) to the B and C level bands (Dust, Captain Beyond, Atomic Rooster, Litter) and indeed beyond (Andromeda, Coloured Balls, Heavy Goods Vehicle, Culpeper’s Orchard… ye gods… what a trip!) always looking for the question of who was the first. The long forgotten did they? Mallory and Irvine bands, whose sonic remunerations sound same-day fresh even today once the layer of neglectful dust is blown away and the haze of nostalgia has settled into a pleasant chemical soup in your frontal lobe. But they are crucially out there now. All these throwback forgotten proto-everything bands have been given a new lease of life and been synthesised into a genuine reference list for a whole new generation of heads, the result is fabulously throwback bands. And the result is Hot Lunch. Go. Get it.
What is it? It’s bicep-flexing Americano groove served thick on a bed of retro still steaming from the kitchen. It’s Hot Lunch, it’s hot shit! Like so many calling back to better (simpler) days it’s bow-and-arrow simple, and just as effective at cutting right through cynicism. Fiery hot post-proto-everything refusenik guitar-led ultrasimplified rock and roll so that even a peon like me can comprehend it. It’s crucially preserved for posterity, shamelessly recreated in every conceivable detail; almost a loving tribute to its true time, like Mad Men, but more entertaining. It’s difficult to discuss them objectively, partly because the full-on firebrand rock and roll is sure to send anyone attempting to contemplate it cerebrally into atavistic flailing fits of enjoyment, and because they are so righteously cool. Just as the populist feminist forward-looking and –thinking Deap Vally plumb the heights of roll and roll bluesyness, just down the coast Hot Lunch are nailing the beauty of the image of the ideal ’69 blues band. With the combined forces of the future and the past and the new Clutch album continuing that band’s shameless but enjoyable trajectory, the present right now is looking pretty damn rosy and I wouldn’t be surprised if 2013 goes down as the year that good ol’ fashioned rock and roll beat-driven guitar music just like momma used to make is finally declared cool again and a rash of copycats pop up for our dereliction. Until then Hot Lunch will more than satisfy yer needs, and get it now because I have a sneaking suspicion the concept is smart enough, the name is bonkers enough and the music is appropriately ass-kicking that I wouldn’t be surprised if Hot Lunch become this year’s underground hit. Be sure you can tell everyone you liked them first. If you can’t appreciate guitar solos soaring over everything else in the mix like a fleet of old-stylee USAF B1 bombers, appropriately fuzzy wah gee-tars, insane time and tempo changes like the outer limits of some sort of cosmic bender right after the acid switches gears on y’all, a gravel-voiced singer like a hepped-up Bobby Liebling’s combined vocal coach and tobacconist wailing out the best blues rock regression hits of the year, then you’re likely dead inside, or we can only hope your chronic case of Bad Taste proves terminal.
And that’s all she wrote folks. Although it strikes me my recent spate of literary impotence has not been mood-imposed as I first assumed, but that I have been getting a steady drip-feed of quality music when I’m used to slightly less lean times. Perhaps after so much truly great rock and roll, both new and old, it takes something earth-shattering to shake me out of my coma, and Hot Lunch are that seismic wave. I advise you to try it. Overcome by spewing forth.
Available on lovely vinyl from Who Can You Trust? Records and mp3 is available from AntiChriTunes.
Written under duress by Steven.