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One Thousand Motels - Get In Where You Fit In

  by Kimberly Bright

published: 9 / 6 / 2021

One Thousand Motels - Get In Where You Fit In
Label: Cleopatra Records
Format: CD


Rat Scabies’ and Christ Constantinou’s second album from their One Thousand Motels project conjures up classic Delta blues, gospel, and R&B

One would expect a side project of The Damned’s drummer Rat Scabies and seasoned journeyman bassist Chris Constantinou (who has worked with Adam Ant, Sinead O’Connor, Wilko Johnson, Bow Wow Wow) to be an edgy, post-punk ride, but One Thousand Motels’ ‘Get In Where You Fit In’ is a ride to the past by way of the Dirty South: dark blues, funk, gospel, and R&B that sound like they were recorded in another uncynical age. It’s not clear if their name One Thousand Motels is meant to be ten times Frank Zappa’s ‘100 Motels’ or just a metaphor for the relentlessness of life on the road. Road dogs Scabies and Constantinou worked together previously with another revolving cast of musicians in the supergroup The Mutants. For this One Thousand Motels album they are joined by Marc Franklin and Arthur Edmaiston from the Memphis Horns, the First Street Choir, percussionist Preston Heyman, harmonica player Steve “West” Weston, and The Specials’ horns/pianist Diz Watson. Constantinou’s lyrics come from his personal experience, as Rat Scabies said following their debut album in September 2020, “Chris writes from the heart and shares his ups and downs, which are often butt-clenchingly awkward.” On this sophomore release his topics extend to spiritual conundrums and existential questions. Dire Straits guitarist Hal Lindes does his level best to sound like Matt “Guitar” Murphy at the peak of his skills, especially on the solo on ‘Temptation’ and the slide guitar on ‘Never Forget’. Vocalist Sean Wheeler was a genius choice for this album. Wheeler started out as the lead singer for the Palm Springs hardcore punk Mutual Hatred in the early ‘80s, has fronted three dozens of eclectic bands, including Throw Rag, and worked with artists such as Josh Homme and Robby Krieger. The Coachella Valley low desert native has a dramatic, gravelly voice that sometimes betrays a well-worn jagged edge and sounds like it is being broadcast through a radio with poor reception. He sounds an awful lot like Screamin’ Jay Hawkins when he gets riled up and Tom Waits when he chooses to tone it down (‘Temptation”’. He goes into full preacher mode on ‘Somewhere Else’ and ‘God Is Great’, and continues the gospel vein with the prison spiritual ‘Spirit Flies Free’ (which even mentions the famous Mississippi penitentiary Parchman Farm), ‘Zion’ and ‘Never Forget’ about the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. Of course, there is plenty of Saturday night sinning, with the reformed womanizer blues on ‘Reel Me In’ and ‘Temptation’. On ‘Sing A Long’ he mentions voodoo rituals, calling on ancestors, and sneaks in an occult pun with “Who do” and “hoodoo”. ‘Blood Makes the Grass Grow Green’ is unabashed ‘70s funk, complete with impeccable horns, and in all probability Constantinou has been aching to employ such killer bass lines. One Thousand Motels traveled a few unexpected and unpaved roads on ‘Get In Where You Fit In’, and in fifteen songs provide a detailed tour of classic American music.

Track Listing:-
1 When The Rabbit's Got The Gun
2 Dark Harvest
3 Brand New Headline
4 Reel Me In
5 God Is Good
6 Spirit Flies Free
7 Sing A Long
8 Somewhere Else
9 Zion
10 Tell Me
11 Let Me Know
12 Blood makes The Grass Grow Green
13 Temptation
14 Count On Me
15 Never Forget (Redemption Mix)
16 Never Forget (Evil Guitar Mix)

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