The debut from Hollis Brown is ``Ride On The Train'' and it's on Alive Natural Sound Records. These guys play well-crafted country rock, homogenized and fairly bitchen and fully as dangerous as whistling in the backyard. Thus again, talent wins out over snarky critic half-witticisms and if you floated into your favorite dive bar thinking impure thoughts, you might stay for a few extra beers just to enjoy the tunes.
February 2013 Archives
The second song is about Cap'n Crunch, why ask why?
No soulful ballads on the debut from Midnight Spin, and that would be "Don't Let Me Sleep" and it's on - wow - self-released Midnight Spin. Big guitar riffs, big voice, big beats - big deal. They used to call this arena rock - I'm getting Journey flashbacks. It's all perfectly produced, competent if uninspired, yet these guy will doubtlessly cause their girlfriends to salivate. The rest of us? Not so sure, and Journey was always a bum trip for me.
Apache Relay's latest is "American Nomad" and it's on Nomadic Recordings and it's from 2011 - hey, my horse threw a shoe - just got this one, and if we haven't listened then it's just like new. They guys play baroque art rock, maybe like a Decemberists Lite but more like another Avett Brothers-flavored band of cerebral country rock. They have their own vibe most of it having to do with way cool frontman Michael Ford Jr., who has an open mind - a reb from Tennessee, who has recorded a song by that Boss Yankee, ``State Trooper. These guys are definitely worth a listen.
Wake Owl has a swell new EP, `Wild Country'' on Vagrant Records - Colyn Cameron is the bird brain behind it all and it's all slo mo and cerebral as the world continues to go Avett in a hand basket. There's worse places to go and worse guides to show you the way. And hey, sad violin players - things are looking up - every band now wants you or someone like you in their band. Also, love the astute observation in the first song, the title tune: ``All we know we don't know the way.'' Don't be a stubborn male knucklehead, ask directions.
Churchwood's second album title is `'2'' a model of simplicity all the way from Texas on Saustex Records. The label website has some funny lines that may be worth stealing later such as these guys ``are saving the blues from the blahs,'' all the way from Austin, ``a city rightly accused to being `The Boring White Blues Capitol of the World.''' Wow, that's funny and this definitely ain't your boring blues society blues - it's grungy, growly and gruff, out of focus, rough around the edges - maybe this used to be blues - drunkard's blues, maybe. These guys would've made a great triple bill with Top Jimmy & the Rhythm Pigs and the Gun Club - both unfortunately making bad career moves by dying. And Churchwood has enough guitar action to cause Robert Cray to spontaneously combust should he approach within a 13-block radius. 21st century blues, so they say - they rock, I say...
1. The Lumineers, "The Lumineers" (Dualtone). Believe all the hype you've heard as to the Lumineers and that "Ho Hey" song isn't even the best cut on the album - I like "Classy Girls" and "Dead Sea."
Honorable Mention and definitely worth a listen (or three):
Black Twig Pickers
JC Brooks & Uptown Sound
Gary Clark Jr.
Ed. Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros
Good Old War
Green Day (both of them)
Ha Ha Tonka
Jeff The Brotherhood
Mark Lanegan Band
Little Big Town
Low Cut Connie
The New Number 2
Of Monsters And Men
Reverend Payton's Big Damn Band
Scars On 45
Sonny & the Sunsets
Teenage Bottle Rocket
Tom Tom Club
We Are Serenades
Young Rebel Set
He is the tall guy lurking in the back of all the local rock shows.
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