Jason and the Scorchers didn't just fight on the frontlines of the roots-rock revolution of the '80s — the band all but invented the lethal weapon of cow-punk while still flirting with mainstream success. The group achieved this feat largely on the strength of its live shows, which were a whirling riot of metal guitar, detonating drums and nasal howls. Fronted by songwriter Jason Ringenberg and guitarist Warner Hodges, the Scorchers could cut nearly any peer that was not named X or Los Lobos. By 1990, however, the run was over. In the decades that followed, the band has regrouped for the occasional tour and recording, including last year's surprisingly consistent Halcyon Times. Ringenberg remains a natural country storyteller, and when his dark humor and social rage meets Hodges death-defying guitar stunts, the results can still be explosive.