Local Record Review: 'Pour Me a Traveler' by Seatbelt

Pour Me a Traveler
Middleman Industries

We'll happily come clean — any album with a song called “Cookin' Dinner,” which turns out to be a truncation of the line “Cookin' dinner on the engine of my car,” which in turn is part of a series of instructions for making things up that includes a mention of olive oil, has got something going for it. And not simply because we love everyone over at our neighboring Stick a Fork In It! blog either (which we do, of course).

Seatbelt formerly had a “and the Pecking Order” attached to their name–as well as a somewhat different lineup–but the happily and openly forever '50s country and rockabilly trio from the Long Beach/Pedro neck of the woods have shortened things up for their second album and damn if Pour Me a Traveler doesn't hit the spot. Roots music has plenty of earnest but derivative timekillers at work so it's always nice to hear a band that operates on the level of, say, the Austin Lounge Lizards when it comes to off-center lyrics being as important as knowing how to play with the right kind of skill and spirit.

There's also something to be said for an album that packs in 18 songs in 45 minutes, so maybe the secret influence lies with Pedro predecessors the Minutemen. Everything clips along at a brisk pace and sounds great while doing so, musically and lyrically, from the open sauce of “Black on Black” to a song called “Don't Drink Any More” (“…at least not tonight”) followed up a couple of tunes later with “Fallin' Off the Wagon.” A winning couplet from “Just Another Stupid Song”: “Tried to write a song to make me a lot of loot/Didn't turn out to be my strongest suit.” All that and they're pounding gasoline cocktails on the cover art as well.

Fire up www.reverbnation.com/seatbelt to hear more from Seatbelt — and it's Friday, and you really should. They'll be playing again next Friday at the San Pedro Brew Co.

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