The Slippery Chickens "We Ain't Scared...We're Just Chicken"

The Slippery Chickens
"We Ain't Scared...We're Just Chicken"

CD review by Roger-Z (03/16/08)
Appeared in More Sugar, April 2008, P. 21A

What if Elvis Presley came back as a fireman with a punk sensibility. And also played standup bass and harp. That about sums up Jerry Scaringe, lead vocalist and songwriter for "The Slippery Chickens." The rest of the band consists of guitarist, vocalist, songwriter Mike Olivieri, and drummers Gary Schwartz, Richie Noorigian, and George Morales (depending on the cut). On a few tracks, the core trio adds V.D. King on guitar. The group recorded the whole album completely live (no overdubs) in Scaringe's girlfriend's apartment.

The cover tunes on the album illuminate the rockabilly origins of "The Slippery Chicken" sound. "Rainin" In My Heart opens with gorgeous instrumental tones -- harp by Scaringe and guitar arpeggios by Olivieri. Scaringe delivers a straight ahead blues vocal with his distinctive mix of croon and yelp. Great dynamics. The next leap in development occurs in the Scaringe penned "My Baby's Crazy." Same great sound, but add a rumba beat and lyrics that start to morph out of the ordinary. "Well we fell in love on the lower East side, walking home at a quarter to five, underneath the purple skies, I never felt so alive." On Willie Dixon's "Pretty Thing," the group moves into George Thorogood "Who Do You Love" territory with a heavier guitar sound. Scaringe blows a powerhouse harp solo. The band really comes into its own on the Scaringe penned tune, "Anxious." Singing as low as he can get, Scaringe intones, "Drowning in a river of angst. I'm feeling anxious." Olivieri takes an outstanding single note solo with no bends.

But the music gets even weirder! Scaringe rocks out to his own, "Bad Bad Boy." "Well it burns when I pee, I go to the clinic for free. I'm a bad, bad, boy." V.D King plays the first solo while Olivieri runs with the next. They end the tune with Scaringe stuttering and yelping against a background chorus of "I'm a bad, bad, boy." On his own "U Ain't Got Me," Scaringe puts a new spin on an age old theme. "You got a divorce for your fortieth birthday and a new set of tits. I'm paying for it all and it's giving me fits. You got the house, baby, you got the car. I got my own reserved seat at the neighborhood bar. But U ain't got me." Guitarist Olivieri steps up to the mic and sings the self-penned, New Orleans styled, "Don't Run Away." "Don't run away from me girl, baby don't run." I can't get that line out of my head.

"The Slippery Chickens" take rockabilly to the next level by maintaining the original instrumentation but updating the lyrics and vocal delivery. The buff Scaringe fronts the band with a great sense of humor. Olivieri plays a fantastic, giant, orange, semi-hollow, electric guitar that alternately fills up and frees space. But always with exquisite tone. The drummers make sure that no tune sounds like another.

Looking for a night of great dancing and fun? Make sure you check out "The Slippery Chickens" at a club near you.

2008 Roger-Z