Brent Amaker & the Rodeo: Please Stand By

[22 November 2010]

By Stephen Haag

Would somebody please hook these guys up to be the opening act for the Supersuckers the next time Eddie Spaghetti and co. go out on one of their country-heavy tours? After all, Brent Amaker has stumbled on a shtick so great it’s hard to believe it hasn’t been done (much) before, and it fits right in with the ‘Suckers approach to rock. This dude’s the unholy love child of Johnny Cash and David Lee Roth, and more the former than the latter. On Please Stand By, Amaker’s sophomore album with his band the Rodeo, he continues to perfect the hardcore country badass that he debuted back in 2008 on Howdy Do!. He’s no bearded anti-establishment outlaw, however, he’s just really impressed with himself.

On “Hammer Hits the Nail”, he grants that “the nail holds everything down” but points out that he’s the one who swings the hammer. It’s silly, yes, but with his deep baritone Sprechstimme, Amaker sounds deadly serious. This is a man, after all, who noted on his debut that “He’s the man who writes the country hits”, damning all pretenders to the throne. Elsewhere on this album, the Rodeo lays a rumbling boom-chicka-boom for Amaker to reminder listeners, again, that he’s the “Man in Charge”, that a “supervolcano” will leave us all “Doomed”, and that he has no qualms about leaving a yappy woman who does nothing but “Talk Talk Talk Talk Talk”. Amaker’s po-faced delivery will leave you wondering where his bullshit/truth divide lies, but as it is with all larger-than-life frontmen, does it really matter?

Published at: http://www.popmatters.com/pm/review/132997-brent-amaker-the-rodeo-please-stand-by/