Hayshaker balances their folk and rock sides on this debut EP.
The title of this debut EP from Georgia quartet Hayshaker isn't especially evocative of the music they make. "Black Holiday" and "Mexico City" happen to be two of the disc's seven songs, but this indie rockin' Americana band are only occasionally dark-hued and never do they sound like mariachi or rock en español. Instead these three dudes and one lady call upon the approaches of everyone from Neil Young to Wilco to Cracker and, yes, even some of the sootier strains of gothic Appalachia found on the records of 16 Horsepower. From acoustic folk to driving rock, Hayshaker kick it Southern style on Black Holiday in Mexico City, all to generally fine effect. Betrothed band leaders CC & Laurie Rider sing nice harmonies on the quiet "Mexico City"; gritty guitars and a whompin' rhythm section step to the fore on "Dirtkick"; and "In the Snow" is cowpunk grunge a la '90s Meat Puppets. The band fuse Hank Williams to Wilco's rockin' side on the EP's best tune, "Laurie's Song". The CD certainly isn't hurting for variety. On the flip side of that coin, Hayshaker could stand to balance their folk and rock together more often, as they do on "Laurie's Song." Their songcrafting is good enough to promise good things for the future of the band.