Friday, May 8, 2009

Reviews:: The Divorcees Last of the Free Men

People on the internet (bloggers) love to talk about how the way music is made and consumed now pushes bands into the spotlight way too early. For me, the real problem is that the comforts of the internet allow bands to sell records/MP3 (and build a blog-base) without having to hit the road.

Taking the time to tour and find out how to flesh out your demos is crucial, and without that seemingly obvious step those unpolished demos become an EP, and what should have been your EP becomes pre-mature album. The cycle never stops and sure the never ending torrent of music satisfies the immediacy we crave, but it doesn’t let the band grow or fine-tune their sound.

Thankfully, The Divorcees hit the pavement long and hard. Their new record - Last Of The Free Men - is a collection of songs that grew organically during countless shows and miles in the van and thanks to the relatively hands-off approach of Josh Finlayson, they capture that energy on tape. Considering the huge shift in the working dynamic for this record, the tightness the outlaws offer up is remarkable (not to get into it, but Jason Haywood left the band mid-tour and Alex Madsen stepped in as vocalist). Last of the Free Men is who they are and that’s why the country tracks feel sincere, not like someone slapped some steel onto a guitar track and claimed Willie, Waylon and Merle as lifelong influences.

Make no mistake; The Divorcees are a country band. Not alt-country and not any sort of hybrid. They won’t get a pass from punkers and indie fans for creative subject matter (like Corb). Instead, the Moncton band sticks to tried and true sounds and subjects, but unlike 90% of the bands doing the same thing, these guys get it right. Beat up cars (My 83), drinking (God Damn That Bottle), hanging with the boys and getting over life, love and luck. They are all covered here, but without any irony that plagues music these days. The same can be said for their country fried take on AC/DC’s Shoot to Thrill. Instead of another hokey country cover - Dynamite Hack, I'm looking at you), The Divorcees pay tribute to a band they love. Nothing more. Nothing less.

I’ve never met any of these guys, but I’d be shocked if each one of them didn’t own beat up cowboy boots and a closet full of wranglers and I’d wager they aren’t the type to refuse a drink, but with tracks like the soulful After the Storm is Gone (that shows Alex and herohill fav, Angela Desveaux trading vocals beautifully), the fantastic story of My Boys or the sunny saunter of When I Say you see there is more to their songs than just having a good time. Chances are though, if you see them play live that's just what you will have.

After that glowing review you are probably wondering when you can see these boys tear it up. Well, for any of our Halifax readers, tomorrow is the CD release party @ The Seahorse.

MP3:: The Divorcees - My '83

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Posted at 11:01 AM by ack :: 0 comments

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