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CD Review: Pitchfork Militia's Two-Headed Monster & Porch 

click to enlarge 2015, Pitchfork Wreckerds
  • 2015, Pitchfork Wreckerds

Pitchfork Militia Two-Headed Monster

Peter Head and Pitchfork Militia Porch

Palenville's Pitchfork Militia has left a wake of distorted guitar riffage and 10-gallon hats at venues across the Hudson Valley and beyond since Bill Clinton sat in the White House. Plying a bastardized amalgam of rock, punk, blues, and country they call "apocabilly," the Militia took up sonic arms more than 20 years ago, rising from the ooze of psychedelic punk-metal outfit Heinous.

Peter Head (guitar and vocals), Karl Krause (bass), and Joe P. Morgan (drums) have been remarkably cohesive and prolific; the band has released upwards of 20 records. These two most recent long-players came out simultaneously last fall and showcase slightly different sides of the Militia's irreverent brand of hillbilly weirdness.

Two-Headed Monster kicks up plenty of dirt with an upfront mix of sludgy hard rockers and psychedelic thrashers like "Cellphone," a rant against the ubiquity of the smartphone complete with a rapid-fire drumbeat, menacing wah-wah pedal, and monolithic bass line. As the name indicates, Porch has a slightly more eclectic, pastoral feeling. The opening track, "Don't Make Me," kicks off with dreamy Beach Boys harmonies, before a walking bass line sets things in a more countrified, twangy direction. Ultimately, the Militia aesthetic is really marked by Head's eccentric songwriting, which satirizes and celebrates white trash culture. "Turn Around" sounds like some kind of to-hell-with-it-all affirmation: "well you know you can't stop the world from goin' 'round / so just turn around and pull your pants down." Pitchforkmilitia1.bandcamp.com.

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  • Jeremy Schwartz reviews two of Pitchfork Militia's albums, one of which is with Peter Head.

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