In the cult classic, Tell Your Children (1936), better known as Reefer Madness, Ralph (played by actor Dave O’Brien) plays a central role as a man driven murderously insane by a psychotic addiction to the most dangerous drug of all time: marijuana. In one of the many climactic scenes in the film, Ralph is pulled through a range of bi-polar emotions as he manically inhales lungfuls of ‘reefer’ thick enough to suffocate an entire PTA meeting.
One of the matrons of the nefarious drug den attempts to calm him by playing a breezy tune on the grand piano. He responds well to this coddle and, joining her on the piano bench, he starts nursing another joint. Though he thinks the tunes are sating him, they serve only to exacerbate his mania. The pianist, fingers fueled by another joint copped from the addict, plays off his energy as he cries, begs, “PLAY IT FASTER!”
But his episode quickly fades, as all highs do, according to the Union of Concerned Parents Everywhere. His expressions teeter between abject fear and psychotic elation. Along with him, we wonder that when the song ends, so too will the world. But then the Long Arm of the Law interjects and brings the party to its right and moral conclusion: absolute marijuana corrupts absolutely.
Weed Seizure by The Hussy (2012, Tic Tac Totally) plays like an alternate ending to Reefer Madness, playing faster forever… or at least 27-ish minutes. Weed Seizure proposes in its own frenetic way that yes, absolute marijuana corrupts absolutely, but is that such a bad thing? The Long Arm of the Law can’t crash this party because it’s happening in one of the few places low enough and dirty enough that the Law can’t touch it. That place, of course, is the garage; the filthy American tabernacle of birth, death, and cheap beer.
The Hussy play muddy and simple garage rock with all of its proprietary inconsistencies, imperfections, reverberations, cuss words, and an overarching diffidence that makes the whole thing easy on the lungs. The Hussy’s two members, Bobby and Heather, share the vocals on the record, and they play surprisingly loud despite their rudimentary mechanics. Justin Perkins did the mastering on the album and his work brings the dirtiest elements to the sonic fore.
The longest track on Weed Seizure is ‘The Moon Rules #1,’ which clocks in at 3:11. It’s the slowest jam on the album, and is a nice way to break up frantic energy on appropriately-titled, short-burst tracks like ‘Bad Speed,’ ‘Harsh My High,’ and ‘SFB.’ Because it’s a short album, it doesn’t have any time to develop weak points. Most r’n’r records would do well to follow this model.
The one problem with bands like The Hussy is the tendency for their sound to polarize listeners. Some record store aficionados can provide encyclopedic histories of sloppy garage rock, but that doesn’t make the history or the sound compelling, and these lectures hardly serve as strong evangelical devices for converting garage rock neophytes. The key is finding a band like The Hussy. Though perhaps spotted with polarizing moments, Weed Seizure has enough pop sensibility to get new listeners hooked for good.
By the end of the album, like Ralph in Reefer Madness, we’re left sitting in our chair wanting this party to end, and hoping it never does.