Tracks like “Dead Punk”, “We Got A Hoe Down,”Canyon Diablo,” and “Barbacoa” offer an extraordinary amount of intrigue in the titles alone. They paint an enticing picture in just a few words.
Captained by Bretts Milk and Philo Munny, Inspected By 13 offers a sound that attacks with a lo-fi ferocity and badass garage rock and roll grit. Intertwined within that is a unique and melodic instrumentation with lush soundscapes and lots of interesting commentary-style vocals. The album is no doubt a connected, albeit twisted, sonic story.
The first song on this 13-track wild west odyssey, “Gold Rush,” offers a machine gun-like riff of pure electricity and force over a driving beat, with an acid-trip like vocal delivery and commentary that immediately says to the listener, “this shit is different.”
With beloved Ween drummer Claude Coleman Jr. leading the charge on their fourth track, “Dead Punk,” the band unleashes like a ravenous pack of piranhas with their grungy, driving energy: flesh between the teeth and all. The dark and deep delivery in the vocals are only enhanced with the vicious, determined lyrics. “I’m comin’ up fast behind you/Taken what you’ve left behind/Every minute you waste I’m gainin’/Taken you dead or alive.” But just when you start to believe in this roving murderous psychopath, you’re hit with the satirical lines, “I’ll take you back to town/With X’s in your eyes/If you cooperate, that’s cool/If not, you’re worm bait.” I could absolutely see this is as a B-side, Craters of the Sac-style Ween track- and I say that as an incredible compliment.
And you know you’re deep in the woods of a colorful psilocybin trip with the electronic and robotic seventh track, “Angel’s House of Love.” The vintage 80s electro-synth beat plays foundation for the voice of a robotic and 2001 A Spacey Odyssey-type female uttering things in a Twilight Zone kind of way. You’d better splash some water over your face after this one- and never look in the mirror.
And it just keeps going- in a fantastic, terrestrial pirate kind of way.
“Barbacoa” delivers like a speed-demon, what with it’s pedal-to-the-metal energy and relentless motor. And the prevalent commentary-style vocals continue to deliver in a most delightfully bizarre way. “They robbed a bank/They set the fire/Where the hell’s the sheriff/Here comes my hombre/The man points at the boyfriend and says/”Well that’s the sheriff.”
Inspected By 13 delivers an album like none other my ears have bore witness to with Cowboy. It truly is a psychedelic, desert-cruising western rock journey with a mesmerizing, freak-flag energy the whole adventure through.
And Milks, whose real name is Brett Spivey, also happens to be co-owner with Coleman Jr. of the newly opened and revamped Soundspace at Rabbit’s Motel right in the band’s stomping grounds of Asheville. We covered the public studio’s opening back in December, and there’s lots of excitement behind this endeavor within the well-regarded creative haven that is Asheville and beyond. It acts as a historical preservation, specifically for the city’s rich Black culture, and aides in the effort to further promote the arts in which the area was known for.
So if you ever feel like a lot of music can sound the same after awhile, give Inspected By 13’s Cowboy a listen. It might be an acquired taste, but it without a doubt hits different.