Agony Shorthand

Tuesday, June 24, 2003
JOHNNY HASH : "BEYOND ROME" 7"EP....A few months back I posted a paen to JOHNNY HASH, mid-1990s purveyor of raw and pornographic post-blues garage punk (if you wanna call it that). Based on the heft of those two In The Red 45s, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better example of bleary-eyed gutter thud, with out of control guitar, creepy-uncle vocals and ultra low-fidelity values. I found out in my research for the “piece” that there was this lost third 7”EP recorded in 1998, the four-song “Beyond Rome” EP released in the UK. Lead honcho Dan Brown (ex-'68 Comeback, Screws & Royal Trux) says it’s his “Cream Corn From The Socket of Davis”, and on the evidence I’m not inclined to argue. The title track would give San Francisco’s death metal folk hero NATE DENVER’S NECK a good scare, given the 4+ year head start Johnny Hash had for combining “Telstar”-like outer space surf guitar & Satanic vocals from the abyss. Then there’s the warm-baked Southern Trux-like sounds found on “Dislocator”, a pleasing instrumental called “Here We Are” and finally “The Rock Error”, a brief fade out that’s either over-manipulated feedback or some looped bug sounds recorded at 3am during a Jacksonville mushroom trip. Nay, it’s not the same aggro-blues you’d expect from the Hash, but it’s not unenjoyable either. Expect more left field panic from this bunch before the decade’s over.