Take one part Texas country, one part southern rock, one part garage band mix them together with a pinch of anger and a dash of fierce independence and what you’ll get is Javi Garica and the Cold Cold Ground. The debut release from these New Braunfels boys is a two disc set, one full length with an EP, titled Southern Horror that landed in the midst of the Texas music scene swinging its fists and taking on all comers. The whole Texas/Red Dirt scene is independent but Javi Garcia takes that a step farther without going over the line into hyperbole. The title smacks of the “southern gothic” genre which I usually avoid but I heard the music first and it’s definitely not anything close to that. What it is pure Texas music and as usual it defies being placed solidly into a genre.
There’s not much out there on the history of Javi Garica and the Cold Cold Ground but the music speaks for itself. Sixteen tracks spread across two discs is a lot of music and the whole shindig starts out with a little murder ballad almost worthy of putting on a Mother’s Day compilation or maybe a Father’s Day compilation depending on your bent and the depths of your daddy issues. There are a few songs out there about disappearing an abusive asshole one way or another but the starkness of the music and the underlying fiddle makes this one of my favorites. “Voodoo Queen” kicks up the reverb a little bit with a rocker that wouldn’t be out of place in a seedy biker bar. The anger still shows through in “God and Country” and Javi almost reminds me of Michael Dean Damron with the way he belts out his anger in this one. A little bitterness at the scene shows through in “Lose Control” but not so much that it comes across as melodramatic. And that’s they way the next twelve tracks go as well. It’s almost as if Javi Garcia just opened up his closet, drug out a skeleton, fired up a bowl or knocked back a fifth with it and then proceeded to exorcise it in song. This is not a happy two discs and there are some dark themes but it’s full of damn good music. Hell you may even find some catharsis of your own in track or two. I recommend taking with whiskey, alone, in the dark and seeing if you can get what Lewis Grizzard refers to as “…crying about your daddy drunk” because this is the right kind of music to use a soundtrack for just that. And yes this is Essential Listening.