Whatzup
Pliers

White Trash City Boy vs. Long Haired Country Boy

Somewhere along the way Fort Wayne got an itch for the blues. Left Lane Cruiser have satisfied that itch for some time now, but there are a growing number of musicians joining them and they all seem to have the knack for writing music that sounds like it came straight from the Mississippi Delta. Pliers definitely have that knack.

Consisting of songs written by Scott “PoopDeFlex” Snyder and Craig “Cornfed” Johnson, Pliers’ debut album White Trash City Boy vs. Long Haired Country Boy is easy to categorize. Or is it? Most people would say that Pliers play the blues, but that seems like an oversimplification. Pliers’ music definitely comes from the same swamps that gave birth to this great American institution, but it’s not your run-of-the-mill blues. Instead of the “cry in your beer, missing your dog” kind of blues with which most people identify, Pliers’ sound is more like warm beer strained through three-week-old smelly socks on a hot summer day. Their music is dirty and gritty, and that’s what’s great about it. 

I don’t think these guys take themselves too seriously, but that doesn’t mean the music they make isn’t any good. The raw, good-time feel of White Trash quickly makes you forget that these guys are from the backyards of Indiana and instead reminds you of what it might have been like the first time you heard Robert Johnson or Charley Patton.

Most of the songs on White Trash are a mixture of slide and regular guitar riffs, steady drums and gritty vocals full of enough attitude to make a believer out of the harshest of critics. Pliers make their brand of music without apologies.

Recorded, mixed and mastered by Al Quandt at the Indiana Low Motel, the sheer volume (20 songs) of White Trash requires several listens before you can comprehend it as a whole. Some of the tracks that stand out upon first listens are “Potta Piss In,” “Kiss My Bass,” “One-Eyed Crow” and “Devil Blessed. “The Cleanist” and “LeAnn,” which feature some powerful vocal harmonies, show the softer side of these “city-fied” Indiana hillbillies gone wrong.

Everyone knows that the best places in the country to hear the blues is New Orleans, Memphis and Kansas City. Thanks to Left Lane Cruiser, Hillgrass Bluebilly, the national acts of the genre that play in this out-of-the-way city and now Pliers, Fort Wayne may some day make that map as well. (Chris Hupe)

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