Corn Money | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Sunday, September 24th, 2023  


Corn Money

City Salvage

May 06, 2009 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

The Defibulators (not defibrillators) are from Brooklyn’s mushrooming indie scene, but not the one you’d expect. The six-man, one-woman band mingles Bakersfield swing, honky tonk, rockabilly, bluegrass, Dixieland jazz, and punk into a boozy concoction worth swigging until last call. It makes a lick of sense that The Defibulators are releasing Corn Money on gag-cartoonist and illustrator Andy Friedman’s metro-roots label City Salvage. Like Friedman’s illustrative work, The Defibulators devilishly warp their country memes into the realm of caricature. This is both the band’s selling point and their fly in the ointment. After all, The Defibulators tour the U.S. in a shabby 1977 ambulance, a possible nod to their noble quest to shock the country genre out of its Taylor Swift stupor.

Corn Money may be The Debfibulators’ debut album, but they sound surprisingly fully-formed after honing their slack-jawed melodies for their residency at New York City’s Rodeo Bar (think CBGB’s-meets-Grand Ole Opry). The septet’s debut clumsily plaits a late-night radio show and big rigger concept throughout Corn Money, but the debut’s true source of enjoyment comes from its gonzo, loosely sardonic ethos. Dark hillbilly songs about a man having sex with a bear (“Xmas Ornament”) rub elbows with Dixieland-cum-Texas swingers (“Honey, You Had Me Fooled”), and Bakersfield jug tunes (“Dum-Dum”). The latter is a surreal duet by lead vocalist/guitarist Bug Jennings and vocalist/girlfriend Erin Bru. Corn Money recreates the barroom swing of early country greats without taking itself too seriously. You can’t say that about the rest of Brooklyn. (

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