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The Lazy Cowgirls, I'm Goin' Out and Get Hurt Tonight (Reservation)
The Lazy Cowgirls (as misleadingly named as Barenaked Ladies) sure do rock hard. If the Good Ol' Boys (You remember: the honky tonk bar band that wanted to kill Jake and Elwood in The Blues Brothers) rocked hard, this is how they'd sound. The rockers here beat the handful of ballads, and not just because the John Hiatt-worthy crunch of the country-rock riffs gloss over some lyrical limitations. Given the roughhewn, lonely, macho melancholy that the Cowgirls (rather unflaggingly) project, their hurt works better when offset by the punk swagger they're so good at. "Goddamn Bottle", a reprise from an early album (they've been around since the early '80s) might be, in the small world of country-rock-punk, a classic. Now, if they'd only do more with either their slow stuff or their persona, this would be even more than the solid, good album it already clearly is.