If we’ve learned anything watching Philly-bred songsmith Ron Gallo for the better part of the past decade, it’s this: dude can do it all. Propulsive electric blues? Check. Sprawling big-band Americana? Check. Jangling global pop? Check. Leon Redbone-esque roots folk excursions? Check.
After logging innumerable Philly hours as leader of Toy Soldiers, a solo artist, a variety show promoter and sometimes comedian, Gallo skipped town late last year for a new start in Nashville, which suits his current musical interests quite well. Sure, it’s the capital of twang, and Gallo’s back-catalog has twang in spades. But the city has experienced a massive garage-punk resurgence in the past decade, from JEFF The Brotherhood, Diarrhea Planet and The Ettes to Jack White making the city the home base of his Third Man Records.
Gallo’s new Heavy Meta LP fits right into that zeitgeist, with propulsive riffs, hair-raising howls and a fierce power trio configuration: Joe Bisirri on bass, Dylan Sevey on drums, all three chipping in on vocals. Last time they were in town, Gallo and the band stopped by to give us a taste of Heavy Meta in a short, sweet Key Studio Session set. You’ll hear undeniable notes of The Stooges’ “I Wanna Be Your Dog” in the greasy groove of “Put The Kids to Bed,” and the spitfire punk of “Please Yourself” is a minute and 22 of pure fire. We also get a roaring cover of “Am I Demon” by Danzig (seriously) and the previously-heard “Kill The Medicine Man,” which sounds great as ever when this band is in the moment and raging away at it.
Listen to the set in its entirety below — audio mix on this one comes care of Bai Konte — and grab a free download here, via WXPN’s Soundcloud page. For more from Heavy Meta, which is out on February 3rd via New West Records, take a listen to the current XPN Gotta Hear Song of the Week. There are no Philly shows on Gallo’s calendar currently, but keep your eyes peeled for some announcements in the new year.
Ron Gallo, The Key Studio Sessions