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The Takers

Taker Easy

(Suburban Home; US: 14 Jul 2009; UK: 21 Jul 2009)

Taker Easy, the debut album from the Gainesville, Florida six-piece the Takers brings the kind of revved-up roots rock that recalls the y’all-ternative heyday of groups like 6 String Drag and, yes, Uncle Tupelo. The modulating loud-quiet dynamics of tunes like “Social Smoker” sound Still Feel Gone enough, and the overall slapdash sound of Taker Easy does, too, although Tupelo was never as whiskey-soaked and shit-kicking as the Takers. Singer Devon Vlasin’s guttural snarl shares the adenoidal every-hick vocals of the Bottle Rockets’ Brian Henneman and means business; however, his voice wears out its rather harsh welcome before the record’s end. Still, the Takers know their outlaw-country history, and Taker Easy is a wicked guitar album combining Telecaster twang and rock shredding alike. On tunes like “Diamond Ring”, you’ll swear Albert Lee is in your left ear and Brian May is in your right. Though the songs aren’t necessarily all-timers, there’s enough greasy drive and roadhouse swagger here to stack up against the year’s best hard-country releases.

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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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