I really loved Back Porch Marys first album, and when they promised that their new album would be even better I hoped they would come through on that promise. And they really have!

Since their last album “Time Of The Broken Heart” was released in 2008, they’ve been busy with an increasingly busy touring schedule. Despite the road, they were still able to get these songs on tape. I read an interview when the last record came out, and found that singer Mike Krug hates being in the studio, so recording these songs must have been done quickly and effectively.

The songs seem to have been thoroughly road tested, and they sound as tight as Ryan Reynolds new Green Lantern suit. The album manages to sound more polished without losing the rough exterior that was key to their previous album’s sound.

Mike Krug seems to have matured as a songwriter. Where his previous songs tended to focus mainly on drinking and broken relationships, not that there’s anything wrong with that – it makes up most of the songs we enjoy in this genre, but an added depth is never a bad thing.

A great example is “Dry Here In This Town”, where the main character is watching all the successful people around him, in dispair over his own situation. He’s stuck in the same place, without any future in sight. The definitive highlight of the album in my book…

“I spend my life going nowhere
at night I just fall down.
There always a raincloud over my shoulder,
but it’s dry here in this town”

The song “You Don’t Know About Me” is a tribute of sorts to all the invisible workers out there doing all the small jobs that never get noticed. The “little people” that actually make society function, and keep the wheels of the world turning. The real workers and heroes, never getting any of their deserved respect. And it doesn’t end well, as the end turns into the French Revolution!

“I’m the one who’s gonna mow your lawn,
the one you act like can’t see.
I got your kids home safe last night,
but you don’t know about me.
Yeah you don’t know about me
I’m broke and tired, and far from free”

As I mentioned, the songs seems like they have been worked on a lot, the album sounds better – and mostly in structure. Seems the loss of guitar player Slim Laurence has made the band focus more on the songs, and the format of “Power Trio” really suits them. The lyrics are great, and they are the focal point of the songs.

Another great example of Krugs evolvement as as songwriter can be found in “Drove Her To Drinkin'”, where he previously wrote about heartbreak from his own standpoint, there is a deep self insight when he tells us the story of a guy who broke a girls heart so thoroughly he drove her to drinkin’.

“She was a good girl
She never did no harm.
I drove her to drinkin’
yeah, it didn’t take long.”

Gary Braun from Mickey & The Motorcars can be heard delivering back up vocals on a few of these songs, and his voice suits these songs like nothing else. He’s obviously learned quite a bit from the others in the Braun family in that respect.

The album is delivered in a simple cardboard sleeve, and this is explained on their website:

“We are just doing a cardboard sleeve with a front and a back. We are keeping it simple because as everyone knows, jewel cases just break anyway. It’s just going to end up on everyone’s IPOD or music player of choice very quickly regardless of how you get it.”

Go buy this from Back Porch Mary like they ask quite nicely on their website:

“It’s important to note that ordering the CD from our site is the best way to help the band. We get all the profits this way. Now, we know that some of you are going to burn it and/or share it with friends. We think that is awesome. Feel free. However, we do encourage the purchasing of music from the artist.”

Back Porch Mary – Dry Here In This Town
Back Porch Mary – Fast Car

Back Porch Mary’s Official Site, Back Porch Mary on Facebook, Buy Life Is Now