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Shortstack

The History of Cut Nails in America

(Gypsy Eyes Records; US: 14 Nov 2006; UK: Available as import)

Shortstack gives you the impression that they’re deep in Appalachian or Americana territory, but the leadoff song “Wiseblood” brings to mind a swinging kind of rockabilly number. “Riverbend” again has more of an up-tempo slant to it, as Adrian Carroll does his best vocally to mix blues with alt.country. Fans of the Stray Cats or Mike Ness’s solo work would find comfort in the slow but steady Sun Records-era “Wreckin’ Ball” bouncing down the road. The first real highlight is the rowdier, edgier “Good Intentions”, which sounds like a roadhouse version of Canadian band Elliott Brood. It’s one that’s bound to get your knees knocking at some point. Just as strong, though, is the ensuing “Two White Horses” which packs a lot of wallop and bite. Too often, however, the songs tend to go down the same road with average results, as is the case with the run-of-the-mill “Red Eyes” and the tame, routine instrumental “G.B.D.”

Rating:

Originally from Cape Breton, MacNeil is currently writing for the Toronto Sun as well as other publications, including All Music Guide, Billboard.com, NME.com, Country Standard Time, Skope Magazine, Chart Magazine, Glide, Ft. Myers Magazine and Celtic Heritage. A graduate of the University of King's College, MacNeil currently resides in Toronto. He has interviewed hundreds of acts ranging from Metallica and AC/DC to Daniel Lanois and Smokey Robinson. MacNeil (modestly referred to as King J to friends), a diehard Philadelphia Flyers fan, has seen the Rolling Stones in a club setting, thereby knowing he will rest in peace at some point down the road. Oh, and he writes for PopMatters.com.


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