Thursday, May 24, 2007

Reviews:: Hackensaw Boys Look Out!

I have to start with a simple admission. I have no idea what the thought process is for major labels. Do they draw names out of a hat? Nettwerk records – home to Sarah McLachlan, Avril Lavigne and Six Pence None the Richer - are generating a stable of blue grass artists. It seems like w eird decision to me, but I can’t complain. I really like the Be Good Tanyas and Virginia native the Hackensaw Boys are an enjoyable listen.

Like the name dictates, the Hacksensaw Boys are all about finger picking banjos, fiddles and baritone harmonies run through the punk rock blue grass ringer. They are as likely to hit home with hippies as rockabillies, or anyone who wants to raise a glass and stomp a hole through the ole wooden dance floor.

Look Out! is the second record the band put out on Nettwerk and its 12 songs you’d expect for friends to play on a camping trip or in a tiny bar, jammed on stage. The band got some help from part time member, Tom Peloso (of Modest Mouse fame) but the sounds on the record really showcase how tight the six core members are. The album starts with a bang, as the pace of Look Out Dog, Slow Down Train is frantic and helps show why this band is getting the name of a kickass live band. It’s hard to imagine this song getting played without dozens of sweaty, pint guzzling fans dancing and singing along with the band.

Continuing at this pace for a full record would be insane, and the band really changes tempo well without losing the bar room feel. Oh, Girl slows down but somehow the sing-along chorus keeps the energy up. I think the fact each member writes songs also helps keep the sound fresh and uses different styles without sounding forced. The sing/shout punk anthems come from Moyse, where Harrison/Fiske rely on more melody, but the band plays so well together that the songs don’t come across as disjointed. Fans of ALO will love the carefree vocals of Too Much Time.

MP3:: Look Out Dog, Slow Down Train
Video:: Alabama Shamrock

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Posted at 3:53 PM by ack :: 0 comments

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