Most people would be hard-pressed to remember Railroad Jerk, the NYC punk blues band that was simply, odd. That’s only referencing the band’s musical style. While there were other lower eastside denizens filling up CBGB’s on a Saturday night (JSBX, Boss Hog, etc.) Railroad Jerk’s frantic pace, clanging instruments, odd-timing, constant stop-starts, along with singer/guitarist Marcellus Hall’s monotone delivery gave the band a bizarre charm that one just couldn’t get enough of. The band was rounded out by bassist Tony Lee, guitarist Chris Mueller and drummer Jez Aspinall.
Railroad Jerk released its first self-titled album back in 1990 and then hit all those elements mentioned on its second full-length release, Raise The Plow (Matador) back in 1992. It was an album that I was enamored with that record which was followed by One Track Mind in 1995. The third release would delve in with a couple of minor hits singles in both “Rollerkoaster” and “Bang The Drum.” The band’s final release came in 1996 with The Third Rail. The non-stop touring schedule took its toll on the band and they wrapped things up, never releasing their fifth album which would have been titled Masterpiecemeal. No one would ever be able to duplicate such a wondrous sound. Everyone had to make way for the Railroad Jerk.