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Crank County Daredevils prep for new album

The Crank County Daredevil’s brand of music has inspired a new term called “sleaze rock” — a visceral blend of punk, metal, leather, and good old rock-n-roll.

One glance at these boys onstage is enough to induce bed-wetting nightmares. Offstage, their demeanor makes you want to take them home to mom. This dual quality has smitten folks across the nation, thanks to steady U.S. touring that’s taken them as far as Los Angeles. To date, there are 1176 people on CCD’s street team, aka The Goon Squad. Metal Edge gave their first album, Kings of Sleaze best album honors of 2004 and Best Band to look out for in 2005.

“We’ve sold 3,000 records without being in a record store,” said vocalist and guitarist Scott Lanning. “We are purely a do it yourself band.”

Crank County may rise on the mainstream metal radar with the release of their yet-to-be-titled new album, which is tentatively slated for a Halloween release. Although the band concedes it might be more radio friendly than their debut, don’t expect an exodus of the old in-your-face attitude.

“We’re not being any friendlier,” said bassist Billy Velvet, whose home is doubling as the group’s studio. “We’re just using less curse words.”

“The last album was recorded quickly,” continued Lanning. “We felt hurried. This one steers away from the verse-chorus-verse-chorus-solo thing. There’s a lot more layering and a lot more ear candy.”

There’s even a peel-out sample by Choppers Inc. owner, Billy Lane, (a twenty year friend of Velvet’s) on the track “Living in the Red.”

“[Lane] went out of his way to come over here, jump on my chopper and dog the f••k out of it,” laughs Velvet. “He left a huge crater in the street.”

The new album has huge potential because Crank County’s allegiance to their music is uncannily loyal, a lust that ignores all the pitfalls of the rock-n-roll routine.

“We didn’t pick this lifestyle,” maintains Velvet. “It picked us.”

Green Fields, opening for Nevada and the Hellsayers at the Grey Eagle; Saturday, September 17th: Three Stars

• Genre(s): Rock, Sunny Pop

• Be glad you stayed home if: Happy music curdles your insides.

• Defining moment: “Everywhere the Quiet Lay.” The band gelled during this number, and sprouted a field of smiles in the crowd.

Years from now, I’m going to brag about seeing the first ever Green Fields show in Asheville. While quite different from the acoustic and brass layering of the debut album, Melodies for Afternoon, the electric version of Chris Mondia’s continuing project still evokes a sunny disposition. Kinks were evident, largely due to Mondia having never playing live with this line-up, but the songs still captivated. Mondia confessed that he still wanted to practice a couple more months before performing live (the current version of the Green Fields has only been together for two months), but claimed that Nevada’s Sean Robbins talked him into the Grey Eagle gig.

Go see this band once Mondia gets the nerve for regular engagements.

[When he’s not bending readers to his will, Hunter Pope cooks, gardens, hikes and spends his mortgage money on CDs he’s never heard.]

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