Shovels and Rope – “Botched Execution” (Singles Going Steady)

A refreshing shift from summer pop and an outlaw ballad worth retelling over and over again.

Adriane Pontecorvo: Prison breakouts and vigilante justice take us on a wild ride through Shovels and Rope’s latest exciting single. “Botched Execution” tells an engaging, non-stop story set to a driving tune, and it’s as fun an experience as it is catchy, a song that doesn’t take itself too seriously but commits to its dramatic tale. The video fits perfectly, with intriguing characters and campy, colorful comic book effects that further amp up the action. A refreshing shift from summer pop and an outlaw ballad worth retelling over and over again. [9/10]

Paul Carr: For some reason this brings to mind Jack White reinterpreting “Love Potion no.9” by the Searchers.This is a rootsy, folk-blues number that tells a captivating tale about a damaged character that layers on the feelings of hopelessness. It’s a classic outlaw song that follows the Johnny Cash line of weaving a dark narrative over simple chords. [7/10]

Andrew Paschal: With the itchy, frenetic jaunt “Botched Execution”, Shovels and Rope push the boundaries of the listener’s comfort. Michael Trent and Cary Ann Hearst elongate their wails almost beyond belief, creating a playful yet unabashedly ugly edge. I imagine them closing out a dive bar set with this number, to the rapture of an inebriated few and the polite bewilderment of the rest. [5/10]

Scott Zuppardo: I can remember seeing this husband/wife duo opening for some of my favorite bands in the last decade, now those tides of changed for them. Super creative vibe yet ditching, at least for this number, their country croon but keeping that punk rock sensibility on full fly. It’s truly great to see the duo making strides commercially without leaving behind their custom attitude. The video is a trip too. [8/10]

Chris Ingalls: At first listen, this sort of comes off as the White Stripes performing some quasi-novelty song. The rapid-fire lyrics work well with the band’s slightly modernized Americana arrangement, but a little more authenticity would elevate this song quite a bit. [6/10]

SCORE: 7.00