Dollar Store is a band who, it seems, won’t be selling out to “the man” anytime soon. Recorded pretty much live over a two-day period at Chicago’s Engine Studios, the scuffed-boot country songs on this, their second release, continue to mine the same rabble-rousing vein as 2004’s self-titled debut, dealing with thorny social issues such as factory worker oppression (“Work = Reward”) and the debts incurred from living in a “Company Town” where unemployment is high. However, this time around the soothing lilt of pedal steel has been left by the wayside and the country-punk ante has been upped considerably with a scattershot rhythm section and rifling guitar, which occasionally borders on the lysergic, recalling the likes of Graham Parker, and more importantly, the Long Ryders. Points must also go to their choice of the album’s sole cover, “In the Gravel Yard”, a tune initially released back in 1995 by Bluegrass supergroup Blue Highway and given a blistering rockabilly reinterpretation here.
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