1. Saddest Sound 2. Two Headed Baby
3. Better Make It Home Tonight 4. Beauty Meets Beast
5. But I Don't 6. Going Down
7. Buying A Rope 8. I Don't Remember What You Said
9. Watching You 10. Pile Of Bones
11. The Man I Am Today 12. Ain't Forgiven
13. No More Pages Turning 14. Love Comes Once In A Lifetime
15. Forever And A Day








It is fitting that SEND MORE BEER, the first release featuring some new material since Angry “went crazy” and broke up the band, starts with the sparse, housebound lament of SADDEST SOUND: I guess that she got tired of waiting for my train/A train that was derailed long ago.” This tale of lost love, and worse -- it seems as if she took his very will to live with her when she left -- unwinds to the lonely accompaniment of a music box. “Thought when I was young/that I would be somebody/Spent my life believing my own lies/I hear ‘em laugh behind my back and I wonder what’s so funny/I wonder how I got so old and tired right before my very eyes.” Dour and heartbreaking enough to have come from Lou Reed’s gloriously dismal BERLIN, this track would have been a good note to go out on, but as an opening it makes one just a little afraid of what’s to come...
But fear not, because track two is one of the most hilariously danceable tracks Angry has ever concocted. TWO HEADED BABY sounds like Jerry Reed as a carnival barker with a screw loose: “Let’s do lots of drugs and have a two headed baby” sings the backwoods narrator of his twisted get-rich-quick scheme, but unlike the freak shows it imitates, the song actually delivers on the goods it promises. The line “And if we get lucky/and it grows some teeth/a commercial for Doublemint gum” is worth the price of admission alone (and a few measly bucks for a CD.)
BETTER MAKE IT HOME TONIGHT is a modern twist on the traditional tale of the trucker headed home to see his baby. This poor bastard has the peddle to the floor -- and his daddy’s shotgun in his lap -- because the little woman has promised to cheat on him if he doesn’t make it home by midnight. He answers her threat that she will not sleep alone in their bed with the bloody promise that he will. “Just a trigger pull past midnight and all my troubles will be through.”
BEAUTY MEETS BEAST is a whimsical Killville fable. Once upon a time, a beauty to rival Christine Jorgensen -- “These days her name was Carrie/Folks used to call her Larry.” -- meets the Leader of the Pack, had he lived -- “The fifty-seven feet he skidded/left his face all scarred and pitted.” The old saw that there’s someone for everyone is oddly comforting inside the notoriously bloodstained confines of Dewey’s Bar.
A loser finds that some things are better left alone when he reconnects with a lost love just long enough to hear “I wish I could say I miss you/BUT I DON’T.
This bitter but somehow breezy pill is followed by GOING DOWN, a good strummer with the first appearance (six tracks in, even!) of Old Scratch: “I handed him a beer and he said you know why I’m here/He lit himself a Lucky and he smiled.” This typically Angry trip to Hell is enlivened by a welcome electric lead, a brutal description of heartbreak from the Dark One himself -- “Its worse than being skinned alive/Worse than being crucified/But what am I telling you for?/You already know.” -- and a great bullhorn finish which proves yet again that if the Angry One wanted to make a little money, he could always become a carnival barker... or if he wanted to make a lot, a televangelist.
BUYING A ROPE, one of the best “lost” Angry tunes (unless you see the “lost” documentary DARK SIDE OF THE MOONSHINE, anyway) finally turns up. This version has eerie backing vocals and haunting, yet disturbingly jaunty, whistling. “I’m buying a rope tomorrow/She broke my heart today.” Deadly efficient, this one is a must-have that should have seen release years ago.
I DON’T REMEMBER WHAT YOU SAID finds Angry’s voice twisting to nearly Neil Young octaves in this first-person narrative of a nut who REALLY doesn’t like it when his girlfriend looks at other guys.
Things get even creepier in the stalker anthem WATCHING YOU. The guy in this song doesn’t sound like he gave even a glance to the restraining order. “I’m finally holding you/Our first and final embrace/For years I have imagined/how your kisses would taste.”
PILE OF BONES is a guilt-ridden ghost story that plays like Poe at an open mike night:
“Rotten wind chime/clicking, clacking/in a hurricane/I beg you/Stay down in that hole.”
THE MAN I AM TODAY is another of Angry’s serial killer road trips, like the sick little grandson of the grandaddy that is DEATH IS DRIVING A PONTIAC. “I gave up on giving and now I only take” echoes the psychosis of Peter Gabriel’s FAMILY SNAPSHOT.
AIN’T FORGIVEN finds Angry in his most guttural glory, like an old man on his last drop, and his last leg. “I wish I could call you/To bid you farewell/But I’m boarding the next train/Gonna take me to Hell/If you’re looking to find me/I’ll be in the last car/With a bottle of whiskey, bellied up to the bar.” The bluesy, doomed antihero here is so exhausted that he is ready to go back down to the crossroads and turn himself in.
NO MORE PAGES TURNING finds our vengeful author calling together his friendly enemies to read his auto-die-ography... not surprisingly, the last words they will ever hear.
“Hey bartender, don’t you worry, your character survives/I need someone to tell my story/When the policeman arrives/I’m counting on you buddy/Make sure you get it right/Or I’ll be back and you’ll be starring in the sequel.”
LOVE COMES ONCE IN A LIFETIME and then it’s gone, leaving another of Angry’s poor fools to “stare down that barrel of despair/at that brass and lead Angel/As I pray to the Devil”. But you don’t call Old Scratch, he calls you. “But The Devil will not come/Because he’s having too much fun/He knows my soul ain’t worth selling/And I’m a joke he loves telling.”
FOREVER AND A DAY is a simple, blameless love song that serves as a cool down after the bloody workout of sui-and-homi-cide that leads up to it... “After all these years/And after all these tears/You’d think that I’d have something more to say/But I said it all back then/No use in saying it again/No one is gonna hear it anyway.”
Although... while it is always dangerous to apply a biographic intent to his works -- especially since I’m not sure if even HE knows where Johnny ends and Angry begins -- I don’t find it much of a stretch to apply these lyrics to the current state of the music business, and the current state of Angry Johnny. But even as the last song, it does not have a ring of finality, because the band is playing live again, and Angry is writing songs again, and putting out music. Taking these things into consideration, I do not believe that “No one is gonna hear it anyway.”
Especially because you’re going to go buy SEND MORE BEER right now,