by The Gun ClubThe Gun Club


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The sophomore record by the Gun Club bore the curse of having to follow a monolith of their own making. Fire of Love sold extremely well for an independent; it was a favorite of virtually every critic who heard it in 1981. Miami showcased a different lineup as well. Ward Dotson replaced Congo Powers (temporarily, at least) on guitar, and there were a ton of guest performances, including Debbie Harry and Chris Stein. Stein produced the album. Off the bat the disc suffers from a thin mix. Going for a rougher sound, Stein left the instruments at one level and boosted Pierce's vocal. There is plenty of guitar here, screaming and moping like a drunken orphan from the Texas flatlands, but next to its predecessor it sounds drier and reedier. Ultimately it hardly matters. Going for a higher, more desolate sound, frontman and slide player Jeffrey Lee Pierce and his band were literally on fire. The songs here, from "Carry Home," "Like Calling Up Thunder," "Devil in the Woods," "Watermelon Man," "Bad Indian," and "Texas Serenade," among others, centered themselves on a mutant form of country music that met the post-punk ethos in the desert, fought and bloodied each other, and decided to stay together. This is hardcore snake-charming music (as in water moccasins not cobras), evil, smoky, brash, and libidinally uttered. Their spooky version of an already creepy tune by Creedence Clearwater Revival, "Run Through the Jungle" runs the gamut from sexual nightmare to voodoo ritual gone awry. Finally, Pierce and company pull out all the roots and reveal them for what they are: "John Hardy," is a squalling punk-blues, with the heart of the country in cardiac arrest. Dotson proved to be a fine replacement for Congo Powers, in that his style was pure Telecaster country (à la James Burton) revved by the Rolling Stones and Johnny Thunders. Miami was given a rough go when it was issued for its production. But in the bird's-eye view of history its songs stack up, track for track, with Fire of Love and continue to echo well into this long good night.

Product Details

Release Date: 10/12/2014
Label: Blixa Sounds
UPC: 0790276074026
catalogNumber: 740
Rank: 25307

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Gun Club   Primary Artist
Debbie Harry   Background Vocals
Walter Steding   Fiddle
Ward Dotson   Guitar,Vocals,Background Vocals,Slide Guitar
Terry Graham   Drums
Jeffrey Lee Pierce   Guitar,Piano,Vocals,Background Vocals
Rob Ritter   Bass,Bass Guitar
Chris Stein   Bongos
Easy Mark Tomeo   Steel Guitar
D.H. Laurence   Background Vocals

Technical Credits

John Fogerty   Composer
Joe Arlotta   Engineer
A.P. Carter   Composer
Chris D.   Cover Photo
Ward Dotson   Composer
Huddie Ledbetter   Composer
Jeffrey Lee Pierce   Arranger,Composer
Chris Stein   Producer,Audio Production
Traditional   Composer
J.R. Reynolds   Composer

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