Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Evan Johns and the H-Bombs

  • Evan Johns and the H-Bombs [Jungle, 1987] B

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Evan Johns and the H-Bombs [Jungle, 1987]
Johns is a local hero, a rock and roll crazy who lives for the music and whose undeniable gift doesn't do justice to the magnitude of his devotion. After years of fringe rockabilly in D.C., relocating to Austin has brought out the Doug Sahm in him. On "guitars, vox organ, lap steel, upright and electric bass, slide, harmonica, and lead vocals," he rolls out tune after generically catchy tune in his somewhat raspy drawl. Most of them are about purty girls and hellacious wimmin, but I can't even claim he deserves the latter, because the specifics just aren't there--the words are unfailingly good-humored and never anything more, including funny. My favorite cut is an instrumental named after its entire lyric, "Hey Whew!," but those so enamored of authenticity that they fake it can fool their collector fans by covering "Life Sentence in Love" or "Love Is Murder" or "Moonshine Runner" or "My Baby, She Left Me." B