Gas Huffer – The Rest of Us

Gas Huffer
The Rest of Us

Gas Huffer is one of those bands I have heard about countless times, browsing through reviews, wandering around the record store, or checking off things I want in assorted mail order catalogs, and yet I have somehow managed not to ever actually listen to them until I got this in the mail. They have been around forever, with The Rest of Us being something like their sixth album, but from what I can tell, they still seem to be going strong. The band takes the standard garage punk format, adds a heavy dose of the blues, and then sprays it with hints of everything from country to surf to pop. If anyone ever decides to make a punk-rock western movie, there is no doubt Gas Huffer will be included on the soundtrack.
If you took a blues bar band and a scrappy punk band and threw them in a garage filled with nothing but musical equipment and producer Jack Endino, this is what the result would sound like. It is crisp and clear, but in a stripped-down way that works well with the band’s style. The opening title track kicks things into full gear, complete with enormous bluesy guitar solos, and from that point on the band rarely stops to wipe away the sweat from its face, except on the occasional slower and more R&B track like “Goodbye Crescent,” or the darker “Ghost in the Lighthouse.” Songs like “Lexington Nightlife” (a personal favorite because of it being about life in Boston), “The Day the Bottom Fell Out,” and “Horse and Wagon” are pure blues rock, inspiring the listener to saddle up to the bar, order a Budweiser or two, and tap a foot with the rhythms. The band’s more aggressive punk edge comes out on heavier cuts like “Aldedly Blues,” “Glass Bottom Boat,” “Third Party Man,” “I’m So Delighted,” and “Babytown.”
Equal parts Neil Young and The Cramps, The Rest of Us proves itself as a fun little romp that doesn’t take itself too seriously or waste too much time on textures and complications. The whole package feels as though it came straight from the garage and through your stereo, maybe with a quick stop at the store for a six-pack and some cigarettes on the way.