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Tate Moore

Punk Poet

(219 Records; US: 11 Jul 2006; UK: 11 Jul 2006)

Okay a short review of a short record (31:58). Tate Moore is the singer for a band called the Kudzu Kings; I guess they must be alt.country or something, because he does not have a very good voice. Don’t know, never heard ‘em. (Bad critic.) I’m not a real believer in the alt.country aesthetic of “we are the real spirit of country music maaaaan.” A pretty soggy thing, if you ask me. You better have some great songs if you’re going to try to out-do some of the very kick-ass stuff that is still coming out of Nashville after all these many years.


And Tate Moore is just not hitting the target here. His “I’m Your Dog” is tepid soporific stuff, probably supposed to be Gram Parsons-esque but that trick has been tried before and never successfully. The title track doesn’t seem to have any point and Moore’s psuedo-hip-hop phrasing has no energy behind it. And although the song is okay when he tries to rock out on “Oblivion”, I don’t know why he sounds like he just doesn’t care if we care or not. Maybe it’s an ironic-distance thing, maybe he’s trying to be all “old country” by letting the band do all the work for him, I don’t know. But it’s not very exciting.


That’s the thing about alt.country: these guys always wanna tear down the system but they end up returning to the same old tropes. “Tin Man” is straight-up countrypolitan pop, except that unlike, oh I don’t know Glen Campbell or something, dude can’t hit his own notes. “Mountain in Mississippi” must have happened after ingesting Johnny Cash’s ‘70s stuff in massive bong-hit doses; it might be the best song here, but there isn’t really any cowboy underneath the hat. And if you have a song called “Good Time”, and the song itself does not sound like a good time…well, you better maybe think about what you’re trying to accomplish.

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