Monday, March 20, 2017
MUSIC REVIEW OF THE DAY: OLD 97's - GRAVEYARD WHISTLING
Always rough n' ready, the 97s deliver yet another strong collection, this one with an extra jolt of power twang. "All Who Wander" could have been a good haunted ballad, but it's even better with an intense chorus and nasty guitar. "Jesus Loves You" is a wonderful piece of sacrilege, with a boyfriend who's trying to compete with the saviour for affections: "He's the got whole world in his hands/I've got Lone Star in cans." In a possible first, alt-country meets Irish punk on "Irish Whiskey Pretty Girls."
The Irish is gone for "Drinking Song," but not the punk, which is ablaze throughout: "I'll kick your ass if you don't sing along." What seems to be going on is that Rhett Miller has moved his thoughtful, calmer songwriter material over to his fine solo career,and left the Old 97's to be his hell-raising alter-ego. Best of both worlds, then.