Boogie Pimps - The Juke Joint Pimps (Voodoo Rhythm)
There’s only one thing to do with this album: Play it. Loud. Over and over, Recorded in an analogue Italian studio in two days by a German duo, it’s soaked in whiskey, boogie and blues.
You can bitch about bands that go out of their way to sound vintage and to some extent you’d be right most of the time, but there’s no faking this stuff when it’s played correctly and in the right spirit.
“Bogies Pimps” is not self-consciously retro - it actually sounds contemporary but without the affectations you might expect, or a clean-up. It’s stripped back Chicago blues and The Juke Joint Pimps could be playing in your lounge room. Only on the closing “Mister Vegan” do the Pimps allow themselves a brief surrender to a looped electronic rhythm track.
The Pimps are from Cologne and began life as a trio. Mighty Mike (harp, vocals and drums) and T-Man (guitar) make enough low-end racket to make the bass superfluous. Being a duo saves on car hire, too.
Slight touches of fuzz and studio noise fill out their sound but it’s essentially two guys and boogie-fied blues in front of some old microphones. The songs do what they’re supposed to and T-Man mixes it up with jagged slide and choppy rhythm. You just know this would cut it live in a crowded European bar. (In fact for some reason one song, “Slim Stepped In Dog Shit”, reminded me of some European cafes I have been in.)
There are 14 songs on “Boogie Pimps” so that gives you an indication that The Juke Joint Pimps like to keep things moving, and the simplicity of their tunes belies their power. It’s the Pimps’ third album and a notch above their first two. Ain’t that a good sign.