Aunt Bettys RAWKS!

[rating:8.5/10]

Jesus, would ya help me find my way?
Would ya send me some money in the mail?

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Michael Knott, Christian art-rocker, social outcast, freelance artist, and former front runner for the Velvet Revolver gig, got his start as an eccentric young artist (banned from many Christian bookstores) with his rock outfit Aunt Bettys. Despite being introduced to Michael Knott through his music video for a solo song entitled “Tattoo” in which he is covered in oatmeal more oft than not, the self-titled Aunt Bettys CD is the Knott project that has wowed me for years and will likely do so for years to come.

The first time I heard “Rock and Roll” on a mixtape my wife made me while we were still dating, my ears immediately perked up.

I’ve got my racing stripe,
You’ve got your OJ knife.
C’mon baby, let’s rock and roll!

From the opening line of the song to the gritty guitar riffs, I knew that this was a true rock song. The song structure was a bit unorthodox, yet the pop sensibilities were keen and the guitar work summoned the rock gods. This song was merely a brief introduction to this album, soon I was to find that there was much more from where “Rock and Roll” came from.

My then girlfriend and current wife had a bootleg copy of the self-titled Aunt Bettys CD that a high school buddy had burnt her back when CD burners were a rare commodity. Not only did I snag the CD from her at that time, but it’s been a regular piece of my musical diet ever since.

The lyrics are extremely quirky, from the opening track “Jesus”, in which he pleas to Jesus for help in very angst ridden and real terms that aren’t common in Christian rhetoric, to the overtly weird “Kitty Courtesy”, a song about a girl who seems to be cooking human flesh for dinner. Other songs range from songs about being a drunkard to serious songs about the struggles of being a family man. But whichever way the song goes, from the fast rockers to the slow ballads, rock and roll genius oozes from every crevasse.

Sure, it’s not perfect. Perfection is Sublime’s 40oz. to Freedom and At the Drive-In’s Relationship of Command, but Aunt Bettys is close. Recently, I bought an official copy of this CD for a buck or two on Amazon. Best money I’ve ever spent.

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~ by thepaintedman on August 4, 2008.

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