Trainwreck Riders

Lonely Road Revival

It doesn't seem appropriate that Trainwreck Riders will likely get lumped into the alt-country taxonomy. Sure, the telecaster pluck and scrappy punk spirit calls to mind the genre's forbearers — certainly the distorted smear on "Find Your Way Home" suggests vintage Uncle Tupelo. But considering the color-by-numbers landscape of alt-country, the Riders deserve better. The band's invigorated vantage on the punk-country crossroads distinguishes it; after opening "In the Wake of it All" with standard-issue riffs and Highway 61 ethos ("It's late at night behind the wheel ... ") guitarist Andrew Kerwin suddenly evokes the snarl of Richard Hell's Robert Quine. The looping motifs and wobbly vocals of "Through Unto The End" borrows from '90s post-rock. Simpler tunes like "Christmas Time Blues" are equally refreshing, and when on the chorus singer Pete Frauenfelde begs, "Take that noose and set me loose," he may as well be speaking about musical tags as much as anything else.

 
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