Stand-Out Track: No. 10, “Swamp Witch,” a boogie-tinged number that marks the first time the Frederick, Md., band has strayed from its stated musical objective: “PURE MARYLAND DOOM FOR THE BROTHERHOOD OF MUSIC.”

Musical Motivation: Lead Earthride vocalist Dave Sherman’s lyrics, a Southern-fried tribute to the femme fatale, are based on a woman he, um, “met” on the road as a member of Spirit Caravan: “The power of this girl consumed me/Way back in Chattanooga Tennessee/On tour with C.O.C./Pussycat lickin’ yes indeed.” As Sherman recalls, “I met her in Chattanooga…then put her on the guest list in Nashville. She ended up moving back with me to Maryland.”

But things took a turn for the worse when Sherman went back out on tour. “She called me up and said, ‘You’re not gonna like this,’” he says. “I found out that she had been going around my circle of friends. She ended up being the baby mama of one of my best friends. It took a while for the hurt to go away, but now I just wish the best for them.”

Turning Point? Normally, Sherman sounds pretty Lemmy-like, but on “Swamp Witch,” he’s more Billy Gibbons. Organ accompaniment by sometime Clutch keyboardist Mick Schauer enhances the house-band-of-some-border-town-honky-tonk vibe.

This departure from the group’s usual sound was encouraged by Vampire Circus engineer Mike Dean—who happens to play bass in C.O.C. “‘Swamp Witch’ was Dean’s favorite song,” says Sherman, noting that he couldn’t be happier with his tourmate’s approach. “I loved the way the record sounds,” he says. “It’s kind of like our White Album. Except it’s black. With a little bit of white.” —David Dunlap Jr.