REVIEW: Rude Weirdo – “Barnyard Scratch”

Rude Weirdo
Barnyard Scratch
Louisville Lip Records

As you may know, punk band Rude Weirdo has a bit of an unconventional history. From what I understand, the band was formed in 2007, and after several lineup changes, the group settled into the following lineup: Eric Ronay (vocals, bass), David Bird (Guitar, Vocals), Jason Hayden (Guitar), Shawn Severs (Vocals), and of course, Tony Bailey (drums). Initially, the band seemed to embrace a sound that fuses noises heard from bands like The Jesus Lizard and Crain, something a lot of folks attempt but fail miserably coming off as another stale re-run. Rude Weirdo were certainly the deviant from this standard, as the songs they made were undeniably fucking awesome. After the unfortunate passing of Tony Bailey in 2009, the band regrouped and forged a newer, weirder sound. In 2015, they’re expertly known for making some of the most bizarre, indescribable noise I’ve ever heard.  But we’re not here to talk about the present incarnation of Rude Weirdo.

The band was started in 07 by Eric and John Toombs, who is half of Self Destruct. There have been multiple changes in lineup…I think the next one was with Hayden, then with the addition of John Causey (Undermine, Crain, Bush League, etc.)

Before Bailey’s untimely passing, the band recorded an album that unfortunately never saw the light of day, until now that is. Louisville Lip founder and Rude Weirdo member Shawn Severs has opted to release the unreleased effort as a 10-song CD called Barnyard Scratch, and for this I’m sure a lot of folks around town are grateful. Before getting my hands on this album, I’d heard people talk about not only how good these songs are, but how good they sound.  I’m not sure if there were bootlegs being shared, but apparently these recordings had a good reputation before being properly released. For me, this comes as no surprise as the roster of musicians is stellar. 

Seriously, these songs fucking slay, despite the band’s unusual setup. On one hand, you’ve got a traditional band platform with a guitarist, bass player and drummer.  What’s different here is that three members share vocal duties.  Yes, I know that a thousand bands have dueling vocal formats, but this ain’t the fucking Doobie Brothers.  The way the lines are sorted it almost sounds like on stage banter in the middle of a song.  As off-putting as that may sound, it works incredibly well with Rude Weirdo.

After several listens, I can honestly say there are no throw-aways here. One of my personal Barnyard Scratch standouts is “Heavy Hitter,” a badass track about local celebrity attorney Darryl Isaacs.  “Eat Me Kelly” is a sleazy, awkward track where all of the lyrics were lifted from a 70’s porno as the band’s trio of vocalists all get in on the action.  Another favorite is “Dick Chigger” which effectively harnesses the meaner, grittier side of throw-back indie rock. 

A release party for Barnyard Scratch will be held tonight at The Cathouse (747 S. Preston).  Rude Weirdo will be playing, as will special guests Asm A Tik.  Get your copy tonight at the show, or risk never getting a copy as only 100 were made.  Once they’re gone, they’re gone.  It’s my understanding that this album may be released digitally some time in the future, but for now, this is a physical release only.  If the album doesn’t sell out tonight, I’m told the rest will be sold at Astro Black Records.  For more information on tonight’s event, go here.