This album comes with the sort of artwork that made me think it was either going to be widdly as all hell metal or some sort of techno beat attack. It's thankfully neither but it is hampered by artwork that looks like the drummer's kid brother did it on his phone in 10 minutes. Thankfully these days artwork isn't a primary hook to get people to listen to the music this trio from Jackson Mississippi makes.
It's the band's second album and having not heard of any of the bands they have toured with apart from Shooter Jennings I have no idea if that makes them cool or not. But having Matt Patton of Drive By Truckers producing probably helps.
The opening Song Burnt Out is slow mordant almost Townes Van Zantish country rock sad and downbeat and with some pedal steel playing to help emphasise the almost monumental vocals as the guy goes on about the Lover wrapped in nothing but a sheet.
Hang Me is a proper chugging country rawk anthem accented with some cool fiddle playing as no doubt they get everyone singing along to the country life chorus yes an interesting country death pop song go on hang him. But then they slow things down like he's almost begging to be hung. As they are produced by a Drive By Trucker, which if I knew more than the Drive By Truckers songs I've heard being covered in recent years I'd probably think this is inspired by them.
I Hope It Kills You really should have a cow-punk line dance to go with it as everyone mimes killing each other in a mass re-enactment of the things you've done to deserve to die to some twangtastic cowpunk.
Cool Blue is an almost gospel country tinged soul baring confessional that has a Crazy horse like feel to the freak outs but with more of The Band's sensibility to some of the arrangement it works nicely.
Precious Thing is almost background country love song until it breaks down in the middle and becomes a lot more interesting than it had been. Till I Cross Your Mind is a song about knowing you'll be forgotten by someone you had a fling with that's covered in Byrdsian harmonies and a twanging Tweedyish guitar.
Song For Darlin is so old school it might as well be a Burl Ives song that probably makes a lot of sense in Mississippi but here in London it sounds so old timey it's like I'm listening to an old am radio in the early 70's it just needs the crackles.
Without You is a slow drunken jealous idiot of a song as he regrets being that jealous fool making him the sort of guy who gets thrown out of bars for being a tool. Oh and no amount of begging from him should make her want to go back for another round as he'll break those promises after half a dozen Schlitz's like he always does. Oh and the Twangy guitars are cool enough for a staid 70's sounding song.
Howlin is obviously tooled to be a raucous set closer to get the crowd cheering for more a good country rocker that's a bit Jason & The Scorchers although not as scorching musically but not by loads. I'd have liked to hear more of this side of the band's sound.
The album closes with The Least We Can Do which isn't about starting the next American Revolution and bringing about real change. Oh no it's more of a slow rumble of a seductive lust song that is at a slow opiated pace as he spills his guts over the sawdust on the barroom floor before it goes all Waterboys as the rest of the band fully come in as he pleads to just get right and I hope he does.
This album is a bit patchy in places but well worth a listen especially if you are more of a country fan than I am. Find out more at www.youngvalleymusic.com www.dialbacksound.com/youngvalley