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Slider Pines

Road Avenue Railroad

(Wire To Ear; US: 25 Sep 2007; UK: Unavailable)

With a name like Slider Pines, you’d be forgiven for thinking that this Dallas-based trio is another bunch of good ole boys whooping it up honky-tonk style: well, guess again. Owing more to the well-crafted songbook of Ray Davies and the power-pop bravado of Big Star than Willie Nelson’s whiskey-soaked country, singer/sonwriter Joey Shanks—along with drummer Bill Spellman and bassist Andy Lester—deliver a solid debut album that offsets adventurous hard rockers (“Fast Track”, “Leading Me On”) with emotive rootsy pop-ballads (“Wolf River”, “Visitor at Your Grave”), while a buoyantly leftfield mellotron and some serious drum riffage keep things interesting. And even when the band settles into a comfortable place, nestling up too close to Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers on a couple of numbers, there’s always cuts like the melodious bitter-sweet pop of “The Missing Street Sign” to redeem them.

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