When a band describes themselves as AC/DC meets Black Flag you know they are either ridiculously deluded or, as is the case with Oxford duo Winnebago Deal, that they have spent their entire youths holed up in dank rehearsal rooms, consuming, digesting and emulating their rock god heroes; earning their right to spew forth their very own brand of pedal-to-the-metal, punk-infused rock and roll.
Consisting of two men named, uh Ben, Winnebago Deal have been touring constantly for the past six years; building a fan base where none existed often through sheer repetitive effort; playing venues that most bands would turn down; and touring in a van packed so tightly that mere accessories like bass players and their equipment have had to be dismissed along the way. Although, as two pieces go, these boys make the White Stripes look like purveyors of stagnant nursery rhymes.
Flight Of The Raven is their second full-length album, released on renowned indie label Fierce Panda. Opener With Friends Like These sets the tone for an album of stoner-influenced, punk-paced drinking tunes that will never make it to radio but, thanks to the boys’ commitment to relentless touring, should still be coming to a town near you.
Future single Spider Bite starts with a muted, rolling riff that is unleashed into a thrashing tub-thumping rock number, complete with Hellacopters piano lick in the mid-section and the gruffest vocals you will hear on a song about spiders, ever.
Venomised sees the velocity slowed way down for a crushing horror groove that grinds its way through three minutes of feedback-laced lead lines and whispered female backing vocals. A Dose Of Something is just what the doctor ordered, back firmly in late ’90s stoner territory, and makes it clear to see why this band have supported Nebula on numerous occasions.
The title track features some of the rawest vocals you will ever hear, and follower You Let Me Down will have you scratching your head as to just how two instruments can make this much noise.
While some rock bands seek to take their influences and set about trying to forge an as yet undiscovered musical mastery, there are others who simply reproduce their heroes’ chords in a different order and make a packet on the back of someone else’s creativity. Thankfully Winnebago Deal turn the latter position on its head, where they are only too happy to pay constant homage to their inspiration. You can barely find an interview where the lads aren’t shouting about The Melvins or Black Flag; and it’s because of this that the blistering live duo will gain respect enough to negate what they’re lacking in originality and hopefully win some fans en route.