Toronto’s favorite whacked-out six-string mayhemists are back with their third CD. The Sadies have spent the past year or so criss-crossing the U.S. of A. in their beat-up van carrying steamer trunks full of martini glasses and discount wines, saddlebags stuffed with Kinks, Music Machine, and Stanley Brothers records, and surfboards strapped to the roof. The result of this experiment, “Tremendous Efforts” is presented forthwith for your aural enjoyment.
Sure, you may get to feeling a little disoriented while listening – after all, spooky campfire wails, dusty western trails, garage punk rave-ups, lounge time cool downs and bluegrass ridgerunning all knock heads on this dandy CD. But then, a right strong dose of a very good thing often gets a person hooked.
Didn’t think you knew how to do the frug? One listen to “Loved on Look” and you’ll be doing it in your sleep. Not much of an appreciation for the bluegrass sound, you say? Then what would you call “Ridge Runner Reel,” the tune with Travis Good’s banjo and fiddle playing all over it (seems like you’re tapping your foot mighty heavy there, aren’t ya)? “One Million Songs” will put you in mind of a truckin’ song; “The Creepy Butler” paints a portrait of the one who “did it” in all those black-n-white movies. And impeccable taste dictates their covering the Gun Club song, “Mother of Earth.”
Fronted by the tall-as-the-trees Good brothers (Dallas and Travis), The Sadies, all hyperbole aside, are the most versatile band on the planet. Over the years the Goods, drummer Mike Belitsky and bassist Sean Dean have contributed their talents to a range of folks such as Neko Case, Jad Fair, Pernice Brothers, Sally Timms, R&B boogieman Andre Williams, and more. This CD has Blue Rodeo’s Greg Keelor back for an appearance, as well as the Good’s talented mom, Margaret.
“Tremendous Efforts” sounds cool, thanks in part to Steve Albini’s recording and the addition of a vibraphone player; the Sadies look more like rock stars than anyone else on Bloodshot, thanks in large part to their ultra-lankiness; the sleek plastic and paper packaging feels extra smooth on the skin, thanks to our stringent quality control standards. Hell, it may even taste good. All in all, it’s a feast for the senses.