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ALBUM REVIEW: "Black Light / Black Death" 

Andy Smash

"Black Light / Black Death"


Andy Smash traces his lineage to French settlers in colonial New York, citing it as a musical influence — along with his days in seminary and a photo of his grandfather playing a banjo in the 1930's. Smash's five-song EP, "Black Light / Black Death," uses the Velvet Underground's landmark 1968 album "White Light/White Heat" as a point of reference but also harkens back to the first wave of punk rock.

"Black Light / Black Death" was recorded using old-school techniques: analog tape and vintage gear in Smash's basement studio during a tropical storm.

Despite the absence of The Rust Belt Hotrods, his hard-driving band, every song on this solo EP is 100 percent certified organic. A personal favorite is the spoken-word "The Coming Apocalypse Will Be Privatized," which is reminiscent of The Velvet Underground's "The Gift," while the extended workout of "Black Light" brings to mind "Sister Ray."

Above all, "Black Light / Black Death" toasts the time-honored rock 'n' roll tradition of banging out raw, melodic tunes.

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