On previous releases, Austin roots-rockers Reckless Kelly have been accused of toeing too close to the Steve Earle line of country rock. With this new album, the band largely leaves Earle behind with a concentration on the more rocking side of their personalityunfortunately, the influence showing most prominently now is Bob Seger. The generic chugging of songs like the opening, “Floodwater”, and “Basin Butte Blues”, (which starts out eerily similar to Seger’s “You’ll Accompany Me”) has little to recommend itself besides an appropriately twangy feel that is done better by many of the band’s closest neighbors.
Brothers Willy and Cody Braun, the nucleus of Reckless Kelly, are obviously talented musicians who have simply not reached that plateau where imitation ceases and inspiration begins. If one is in search of serviceable southern roots rock, it pops up here in abundance, on upbeat tracks like, “Come On Over”. Elsewhere, the band sounds a little too much like a countrified Hootie, especially on “Arizona Skies”, a tune that wouldn’t sound out of place on a Cravin’ Melon disc.
At the end of the day, one can hardly ask for more than to get the job done to the best of one’s abilities. Reckless Kelly do that here, turning in another good, if derivative, performance that falls short mostly of expectations that they might end up someday adding up to more than the sum of their influences.
// Notes from the Road
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