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The Electric Pinecones, Southern Culture On The Skids' fifth album on their own labe, Kudzu Records, features 12 original tunes – 11 brand new songs and a whole-lotta NOLA remake of the SCOTS classic, "Swamp Fox - The Original." All the tunes were produced and recorded at Rick's studio in NC, The Kudzu Ranch. The Electric Pinecones is a bit of a departure for the band conceptually and sonically. The inspiration for the record was born in an alter-ego side project from the early years of the band. "The Pinecones was folk-a-hill-a-billy garage band we used to put together just for kicks," Rick Miller relates. "We loved the sound of '60s west coast folk rock and psych bands. The Pinecones was our outlet for material that was not in the SCOTS vein. We even opened for ourselves occasionally. The Pinecones set list was the jumping off point for this latest collection of songs."
The first single off the album, "Grey Skies," is a minor key mood piece with that folk-a-billy, psychedelic sound. The lead off track, "Freak Flag," is more upbeat, but no less tweaked, with modulating guitars riding on pounding drums after the first verse. "Dirt Road" is Mary Huff's three-minute ode to séances, thunderstorms and good lovin' long gone. The album also has some country rock songs that highlight the melodic side of SCOTS, with "Baby I Like You," "I Ain't Gonna Hang Around" and "Given To Me" featuring some of the best harmonies Rick and Mary have ever recorded.
"Waiting On You" is the longest song on the album, coming in at 4:22; it's a folk-garage-rocker with a sing-a-long chorus that segues into a surf raga breakdown before heading back to the big riff and out. The album has traditional Southern Culture flavor too. Check out the remake of "Swamp Fox – The Original." This take goes back to the beginnings of the song and is much closer to capturing the essence of the many all-nighters the band pulled in NOLA with friends and colleagues. The country funk of "Rice and Beans," is a good humored tale of a cash strapped southern courtship, and "Midnight Caller" is Mary's slinky R&B flavored woman-to-woman warning about bad men looking for good times.
Song for song, on The Electric Pinecones, Southern Culture On The Skids continues to blow minds and blur the lines between genres delivering a stellar album. From their 1985 debut Voodoo Beach Party, to their 1988 international smash, Dirt Track Date (featuring the hit single "Camel Walk"), and now to the SCOTS-ified tunes of The Electric Pinecones, 30+ years, 200+ songs and 1,000,000+ road miles in, Southern Culture On The Skids just continues to get better with time.