Austin-based quartet have returned with a bracing ride of despair that retells tales of heartache and loneliness.
In 2006, San Saba County got innovative with their second album, It's Not the Fall That Hurts, by effortlessly entwining the brooding sounds of '80s indie rock around their country-music roots. Fast-forward two years, and with the template set, the Austin-based quartet have returned with more of what frontman John Saba likes to describe as "post-alt-country." This time around, however, the music is infinitely bleaker. ... Though Cheating Was Never an Option is a bracing ride of despair that retells tales of heartache and loneliness. Highlights are powered by foot-to-the floor drums and droning guitar that conjure up images of the Pastels in stetsons as on the atmospheric country-psych of "5th Time Around" and the hallucinatory "Summer Solstice".