from the music vault: speedealer
by Michele Christopher
Speedealer originally formed in 1994 in Lubbock, TX, under the name REO Speedealer. When REO Speedwagon served the band a cease-and-desist order on their moniker, they shortened their name to Speedealer. In 1998, the band released their debut, self-titled album on Royalty Records. The following year, the hard rocking foursome -- made up of singer/guitarist Jeff Hirshberg, bassist Rodney Skelton, drummer Harden Harrison, and guitarist Eric Schmidt -- released their follow-up record, Here Comes Death, on the same label.
We each take a stab at reviewing here. Turtle takes on Here Comes Death:
What the hell was with this band? The tour for this record was my initial exposure to them. A bunch of Dallas tweaks on a semi-tour sitting in the back of a San Francisco club with me. I asked them what they sounded like. Drinking beer, the guitarist told me it was "shit that would rip your pants off." Alright tough guy. Prove it. And they did. This is something that you need a saftey belt to listen too. Pure rock and rock high on speed and full of beer. Not really caring about if anyone was watching, just wanted to get the set done as fast as possible and rock as hard as possible.
The outcome is "Here Comes Death." An awesome record that really has no method or no meaning, but if kicks ass. Really. Kicks fucking ass. If you are looking for deep lyrics, this isn't for you. But if you like high powered snarling cock rock with a twist of evil and a side of anger, crack a beer and put this fucker on.
Speedealer - Absinthe
My review is for Reo Speedealer:
Part Clutch, part Pantera, completely offensive and brazen and throw beer in your face kind of music. My kind of music. Only one song on this album clocks in over two minutes long. It’s like they want to fuck you up as quick as possible, just to leave you saying, what the fuck was that?
Remember when you used to go to hockey games to see fights and there would be a bench clearing brawl, one so big that every player was on the ice, even the guys who were dressed in street clothes and sitting in the press box, and the goalies were flinging bare fisted punches at each other and there was blood on the ice and beer flying in the stands and all you wanted to do was jump out of your seat and get in there yourself, throw a few punches, kick a few teeth in then maybe buy everyone a beer after?
That’s what this album feels like. It plays at a breakneck speed, throwing raw energy at you from start to finish, splitting your ears with vocals that make your throat ache just trying to match them. It’s not supposed to be listened in the comfort of your own home, either. Reo Speedealer was made to be listened to in a dive bar while breaking a pool cue over someone’s head. Or in a car that’s missing a muffler and coated in grey primer paint, kicking gravel from under the tires on some forgotten dirt road in the middle of nowhere, playing this so loud that the sound still feels like last nights drinking binge in your head long after the last note has ended.