Close your eyes when pressing play on the new Indonesian Junk album and you might think Iggy Pop had hip-thrusted his way to the top of your queue without you noticing. The opening beat rattles like an old Stooges jam; something with a lurid bounce for Iggy to twist to. The guitars sizzle, slathered in grime and guts, riding a bass line that rumbles like an avalanche in the distance. Frontman Daniel James even oohs and ahs into the groove before stretching out a slightly sinister drawl.
It’s classic dirty rock n’ roll; soundtrack for the bar or the kinky sex thereafter. It’s as confident as James Dean on a Chickie Run, as menacing as a feral beast on a late night prowl. “Shake It With You” is the perfect song to kick off this self-titled record, and a perfect introduction to Indonesian Junk.
James rips out a delightfully raunchy riff on “Indonesia,” bowling through a percussive flurry conjured by drummer David Barootian. The build up practically begs to be accompanied by jangling keys, but I suspect Marc Bolan would dig “Indonesia” either way. Another track that’s easy party rock, it crunches and preens with hedonistic swagger and delivers a simple-but-totally-satisfying guitar solo.
While most of what we’ve heard from Indonesian Junk before now has been hard charging punk (see the Crimes “7), here the trio is showing off a much wider range of influences. “Fuck Off” burps of roadhouse blues rock before its furious finish, and both “So Alone” and “Black Hole” reek of front row at a metal show. Nervous garage ballad “Little Malibu” is infused with a ska riff and surf rock breeziness. James sprinkles a bit of glam guitar throughout the album, a logical addition for someone who has spent time playing with sugar-rush rockers Ramma Lamma. Go figure, the singer apparently met Cyanide at an Alice Cooper concert. As for where Barootian comes from, he previously collaborated with James in 2014 as a part of Milwaukee psych metal outfit Master Heartache.
That isn’t to say Indonesian Junk are separating themselves from the world of crushed PBR cans, leather jackets and bad decisions. “You Messed Me Up” is a cretin hoppin’ runaway train, loaded with blistering guitar work and an impossibly chantable chorus. “I’m So Bad” follows, an enormous Motorheade-esque bruiser riddled with smoldering guitar licks. Indonesian Junk ends on a high note with the aforementioned “Black Hole.” The aptly-titled symphony of gloom is replete with chaotic and fractured eruptions from James’ guitar, Earth-cracking tantrums from Barootian’s kit, and booming hay-makers thrown from Cyanide’s strings. An extended final jam swells with the intensity of Armageddon, making it almost uncomfortable when the cacophony is swallowed into the whispered black hole… / black hole…
Indonesian Junk celebrate the release of their self-titled release on Friday, February 5th at Hi Dive (8 PM, FREE, 21+) RSVP on Facebook. ‘Indonesian Junk’ is out the same day on Rum Bar Records. You can order your copy here. More tour dates below:
2/5 Milwaukee, WI – Hi Dive w/ STATIC EYES, Bad Wig and Mono In Stereo
2/6 Minneapolis, MN – Pork Ave.
2/20 Greenbay, WI – Lyric Room w/ Rev N0rb & the Onions and Scrap Heap Kings
3/12 Sheboygan, WI – Ebco w/ MAMA, Garbage Man and Bastard Association
4/29 Chicago, IL – TBA w/ Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb