Banjos start the opening track “Fist Magnet.” I guess this could be called techno country bluegrass punk, but it really defies even that category. What hits me about this band is that I have never heard anything like it. Really. And I’ve heard a lot of stuff.
Even though I can’t really identify what it is, I can tell you what it isn’t. It’s not standard AAA, Alternative Country, No Depression material. I have seem them touted in all the right places, like No Depression magazine. Apparently, this record is different than past releases which are a bit more standard alternative punk country fare.
The song “Looky Here” has interesting interwoven spoken word samples around a sampled beat with banjo. The song builds and ends with a fuzz, Richard Lloyd, Television-like guitar thing. “Love Songs Suck” again is noteworthy for what sounds like sampled drum sounds, spoken word and lyrics that show intelligence and a real sense of humor. “The Legend of Sawdust Boogers” follows. I’m sorry. The song is hilarious and a sign that these guys could give a rat’s glass about what I think or what anyone thinks.
I must admit that I favor bands that seem to be doing their own thing regardless of the opinions of fans or critics. For artists like The Bad Livers, its about creating something new, and, in this case, new is not an overused adjective. When I say new, I mean…not done before. If there are other artists in their genre who have mastered technology like this, I haven’t heard it. They are pushing the envelope and should be applauded for it.
The stuff they are attempting here is really groundbreaking because of the unique use of sequencing, samples and audio editing all over it. The recording sounds great.
You’ll hear a lot of bands cop some of the ideas on this recording. For now, I would recommend this recording to the listener who likes No Depression bands but is not looking for a traditional alternative country recording. If you like diversity, maybe even drum and bass or artists such as The Beastie Boys, you may be into this. These guys are breaking down the barriers whether we like it or not. Open up your ears and rise to the challenge. You’ll be glad you did.
// Notes from the Road
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