Anyone who ever had the chance to see Southern Culture on the Skids' alter ego, The Pinecones, perform will get their memory jogged on SCOTS' new album, The Electric Pinecones. In the past, the band opened sets for themsevles under the moniker, delivering a swampy, and more '60s surf pop rock feel. That's become a source of inspiration for the group and the by-product is The Electric Pinecones, the band's fifth on their independent label, Kudzo. There's still rockabilly, folk-rock and Americana elements with narly duets between Rick Miller (guitarist/singer) and Mary Huff (bassist/singer), along with steady repetitive drumbeats and swirling, tremolo effects on guitar.
The disc breaks out with "Freak Flag," a beachy pop anthem that stresses the importance of being proud of who you are. Tracks three, "Baby I Like You" and four, "I Ain't Gonna Hang Around," are quick and upbeat despite going from lyrical content that revolves around love bugs to love duds. Later on, on "Midnight Caller," we get a backwoods wallop with Huff giving fair warning to the ladies about the dangers of picking up that dial when there's just a booty call on the other line. Organ tones and woo-hoo's set the tone for this hillbilly hoopla.
"Grey Skies," has a slower psych vibe that conjures images of surfers riding waves in the Summer of Love. It's a chill, dreamy melody that sticks.
Meanwhile, "Swamp Fox — The Original" presents a zesty NoLa take on the classic. Other songs like "Rice and Beans" take a common man's approach to the hardships of affording accommodation. Stressing money concerns and cheap eats, it could be an advertisement jingle and it's complete with what sounds like someone tapping on a tin can. Another track, "Downward Mobility," is bluesy and sounds like something that you'd hear playing on the edge of a swamp. There's jingly piano and Howlin' Wolf guitar-esque riffs. The album's last two tracks "Given to Me" and "Slowly Losing My Mind," are slower numbers. All in all, this disc, a follow-up to SCOTS' Dig This: Ditch Diggin' V.2, is a pleasant surprise. There's a kind of endless summer vibe to the record, and it's well worth clinging to as fall approaches.