The Kickbacks

Motel Stars

by Jason MacNeil

18 August 2006

 

Having opened for artists like Tim Easton, Robbie Fulks and Slobberbone, The Kickbacks know what Americana is all about. And they excel in that realm on this album. Whether it is the slow building “$$$” that steadily moves into something better and bigger or the up-tempo Westerbergian “Collect Calling For You”, The Kickbacks can do little wrong. A later highlight is the ballad “Jealous of the Stars” that is quite gritty and alt.country-ish. Led by singer and chief songwriter Tad Overbaugh, the band nails “Lazy Eye” that sounds like Steve Earle fronting the Gin Blossoms. After a tender ballad “Fixed to Be Broken”, the quartet miss the mark with the electro-lite touches of “I Crash Cars” which sounds a bit like a car wreck at times, resembling a Goo Goo Dolls b-side. Fortunately they up the ante with the punchy, foot-stomping “Lethal Charm” and the closing “Lights Flicker” that is a moody, mid-tempo piece. It’s an album you can definitely kick back to with very little filler.

Motel Stars

Rating:

 

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