North Americans have a rich tapestry of road-trip music to call their own, including the garden-variety “life is a highway” mixtape; the surprisingly vibrant (thanks to Kurt Vile and Steve Gunn) “sad pothead leaving town at sunrise” genre; and my personal favorite, the “get the hell out of Dodge” soundtrack. Endless Boogie are masters of this latter category. “Vibe Killer” sets a sinister mood that cues an endless loop of season one True Detective, alternating between scenes of Rust Cohle’s interview and that creepy longshot of Carcosa. The song, title track to Endless Boogie’s new album, is so immersive, it takes some eight minutes before you realize that it has gone nowhere, compositionally — no beginning, middle, or end.
The singular Endless Boogie perhaps requires some explanation. Named after a John Lee Hooker album, Endless Boogie are truth in advertising. Endless Boogie just riffs (or, in some songs, just pre-riffs) Southern rock-style over lengthy jams that never alter in tempo or chord. Endless Boogie have evolved ever so slightly over four albums and countless EPs and tour CD-Rs — maybe a little less grizzled, frontman Paul “Top Dollar” Major’s enunciation now a little less Captain Caveman so that you can hear his tales of how he saw Kiss at a kite festival in St. Louis back in ‘74. Tuneless and repetitive, Endless Boogie would invariably clear the dancefloor at any bar-band roadhouse; committed to the uncool sounds and gestures of 70s Southern rock, they would also break up any dorm-room stoner session. There’s no need to “get used to” Endless Boogie, for Endless Boogie exists only in the moment. Though I only listen to them every now and then, Endless Boogie are damn near perfect.
Vibe Killer is out now on No Quarter Records.
[Band photo by Leonard Nevarez; right of attribution reserved.]