The follow-up to Worrisome Blues has the Big Cats dedicating the record to Shannon Yarbrough, a guitarist with the band who died in 2000. And he would be quite proud of this release. Not quite the “emo” the band’s Burt Taggart had pioneered years ago, the record is filled with tight, power pop songs like “Little Windows” and “As I Wish” that bring to mind the Clarks, BoDeans and the Connells. Things get a tad rowdier with the lean, foot-stomping “She’s Not Lost” that never quite breaks out of its well-crafted tension and resembles a distant cousin of the Strokes. Another highlight is the hidden bonus track tacked at the album’s end. However, at other times the Big Cats are happy to keep things on a safe even keel, as is the case with the good but not great “Minor Decay” and “Woodlawn Bells”. But things explode with the dynamic and engaging “The Hotel Sink”, and the dramatic “Man of Leisure” that runs nearly six minutes. Unfortunately “She’s Got Skills” drags early and often.
// Notes from the Road
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