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The Baptist Generals [rank: 1283]

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The Baptist Generals

"The Baptist Generals of Denton Texas are purveyors of some of the scariest acoustic guitar mangling you're likely to hear. Main General Chris Flemmons plays the acoustic guitar the way it was meant to be played: like a motherfuckin' drum. Perhaps the best way to describe this band is to remind you that they come from Texas, a state that gave us everyone from Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings to Roky Erickson and the Butthole Surfers. And, No Silver/No Gold has that coveted quality of sounding as though it might fall apart at any moment.

Their music is often bitter, aggressive, even frightening, yet at times completely spiritual. Flemmons' lyrics are marked by a profound, often dirge-like sadness, but this isn't fucking emo, folks. And he might sing, with a distinctively Southern accent — songs that mention someone getting his 'head cut off on the barbed wire' or someone "shooting and drinking' (in that order) — but The Baptist Generals sure as fuck ain't country. Or alt-country. Or any of that stupid shit. Yet their style is distinctively Southern. His haunting, imagistic lyrics are as steeped in the Southern gothic tradition as anything Barry Hannah or Flannery O'Connor ever committed to print. Flemmons' voice sounds like every great Southern singer from Doc Boggs to Wayne Coyne, but at the same time nothing like either of them, or anyone else for that matter. He's thirty-three years old, but sings with all the world-weary crankiness of someone who's seen at least ninety.

The guitar and the percussion are so tightly in sync with one another that it's hard to tell which one is which. This may be because Flemmons and drummer Steve Hill have been playing together for over eleven years now, ever since Flemmons moved to Denton from his native Ft. Worth. The two began as the Poor Bastard Sons, playing on front porches for beer money, and have been performing as The Baptist Generals since 1998. Their lineup now includes Ryan Williams on bass (who plays a mariachi bass) and — following the recording of No Silver/No Gold — multi-instrumentalist Jason Reimer, whose electric piano, slide guitar, and Theremin (among other instruments) add whole new dimensions to the band's music."

[reproduced or excerpted from band website linked above]

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