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Greg Koons and the Misbegotten

Welcome to the Nowhere Motel

(Kealon; US: 23 Jun 2009; UK: 23 Jun 2009)

Los Angeles twangsmith Greg Koons writes from the perspective of a poor kid from off of Route 83 in Pennsylvania, though now he’s all grown up and carrying the hard-hurting freight of life and love, which live in a solid set of songs on his full-length debut. Welcome to the Nowhere Motel is full of jangle-and-strum roots-pop: “There but by the Grace of God Go I”, with its Buddy Holly-like vocal delivery, is the catchy handclapper; “Janey’s Got a New Boyfriend” chugs with an early ‘80s hit, FM melody; and “A Picture of My Pa Before He Died in Vietnam” (this dude’s got a knack for titles) stomps with an ironic exuberance. Koons is most memorable, though, when he slows it down on tender, lovesick ballads with Springsteenian detail, either bumming out over the failed promise of Los Angeles or singing the prettiest song you’ll ever hear about falling in love with a beaten-up hooker in a truck-stop bathroom.

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Steve Leftridge has written about music, film, and books for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, No Depression, and PlaybackSTL. He holds an MA in literature from the University of Missouri, for whom he is an adjunct teacher, and he's been teaching high school English and film in St. Louis since 1998. Follow at SteveLeftridge@Twitter.com.


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