The Devil or the Barrel - The Langer's Ball
New Folk Records
No doubt the original Langer’s Ball duo of Michael Sturm and Hannah Rediske has spent countless hours squirreled away in the back corners of beer joints, plying their acoustic ‘lite’ arrangements of pub punk. But, they’ve been bulking up lately and wear the new muscle well. The Langer’s first fleshed out their material as a bigger band in 2010 at a St. Paul’s hometown St. Patrick’s gathering which was recorded for posterity on ‘Drunk, Sick and Tired’. Obviously, the kids want to rock and the next year, The bigger and badder Langer’s Ball was getting pumped and cut with spotting from some great talent. Joining forces with Derek Jaimes (formerly of Wild Colonial Bhoys) minding the kit, Minnesota punk vet Trevor Jurgens on electric guitar and ballsy bassman, Drew Miller from the legendary Boiled In Lead, The Langer’s have found the sound that gives their music the gravitas and dynamics it deserves. That’s a good thing, because over the album's 13 tracks they cover a great deal of ground. There are the original ‘anthems in the making’ like the Sturm and Rediske penned opener, ‘Whiskey Chaser’ and ‘Kick Around’, two of my immediate favorites, plus two others. There’s a fair number of traditional tunes that get juiced up with the added strength of the new players. Ballads like ‘I Know My Love’ feel more grounded and groovier with the bigger bottom end. We’re even edified with a William Blake poem set to music as ‘The Little Vagabond’. But, they also dig in for a mean rendition of the soaring classic Fields Of Athenry, and Drew dials up the sludge for the show stopper, ‘Johnny Jump Up'. In case you’re wondering, “What the hell is a langer and why does it have a ball?” In actual fact, it usually has two. According the Urban Dictionary, langer is a slang term from County Cork for 1/ a penis 2/ a foolish person 3/ to be intoxicated (which can lead you to become 1 or 2). More Langer trivia? The band shows up in Steam Punk Wiki. Everybody’s sporting goggles and turn of the twentieth century gear on the cover of The Devil or the Barrel.