Dave Van Patten
Lonesome Water, Lonely Sea
This near-famous Mexico City kid (now an Angeleno—welcome!) has opened for the Strange Boys and Black Lips. He’s even had Vice magazine damn him with praise, calling him a mix between the Ramones and Johnny Cash. While Joe Volume does wear a cowboy shirt on the cover of this, his umpteenth album, he’s more rockabilly than country on this toe-tapper, and nowhere near the Mike Nessyness you might imply from that description. The best songs are the ones that showcase his Bolan-bleating vocal warble the most and which perhaps rock the least, like “Pictures ‘n’ Papers,” or “A Fighter in the Crowd,” which let him go nuts and introspective like Sal Valentino of the Beau Brummels. There’s no reason to pick and choose, though—the real lesson of the album is that Volume can jump from one genre to another and go up and down tempo with ease. And there are some interesting studio choices here, too, reminding us that Volume does pretty much everything himself. The anger here, and sorrow, about religion and its lies are just the crackle in his burning fire.