Required Reading

The perfect soundtrack for my failure of a Tuesday is this little number from Tucker Riggleman and Adam Meisterhans of The Demon Beat, John Miller from The Fox Hunt and drummer Jeff Birdsall. The thing is, you see, today has sucked a whole bunch and this whiskey drenched bunch of twangy tunes has been playing in the background and keeping me sane for most of the afternoon. While I was not getting the cool microscope set on Kids.Woot before it sold out PBC was crooning “Look out tonight ’cause my heart ain’t feelin’ right. There’s bound to be a fight and I might start it”. And while my changes to a certain web interface were blowing up during testing the dulcet tones from the guitar picking at the beginning of Biting Bullets could be heard creeping out of my headphones where I had tossed them onto my desk in frustration. Since I have Required Reading on repeat at the moment and I am pretty sure this bit of code won’t compile my day will be complete with Cold Front highlighting yet another piece of today I’ll be glad to leave behind when I get in my pick-up truck and head home from some whiskey.

In all seriousness folks this is a bad ass album. It’s a great soundtrack for those late night whiskey and lounge chair sessions when you wonder what the hell you have done with your life. I have never ever had one of those, I swear, but if I ever think I might this is one of the albums going on that random playlist. So what if I have a playlist for one of those nights? It’s never happened. We’re talking about Prison Book Club and not my late night drinking habits so back off. If they, meaning Prison Book Club, keep this up they could start knocking on the doors of the likes of Lucero for my favourite drinking music. They have a ways to go to get there but mostly because I need more than eight songs which brings me to my only complaint about this album: It’s just too damn short! In their own words it’s just long enough for “a couple bucks in the jukebox baby” but not much more. There is a lot of talent here and they bring it together in a way that, obviously, makes a man want a drink. And I can’t think of a higher compliment I could pay these guys.

As short as this album is I am only giving you two album tracks so here’s a little PBC on YouTube to pacify you:

And here’s a couple of tracks from Required Reading:
Prison Book Club – Biting Bullets
Prison Book Club – Cold Front

And of course the obligatory linkage:
Prison Book Club on MySpace

Buy Required Reading for only 8 damn dollars!


  1. Hearing PBC for the first time was like hearing the Dexateens’ Lee Bains III side project Arkadelphia. That feeling of “where has this band been all my life”?

    Spend the $8 for this album. There’s not many albums I love from the first listen but it’s been on repeat since I got it. If you like The Takers, I think you’ll like this album.

  2. it’s a great little fucker of an album, that’s for sure. and just when you thought all good band names have been taken there comes Prison Book Club!

  3. It was a review I had needed to write for a for a while and well that day happened it was what I was listening to. It just made sense. So out came the review. I prefer to be able to write something personal in my reviews. You can find an opinion about any given album anywhere. I want to add my personal touch to them 🙂

  4. Hey all,

    Thanks for the killer review, it really means a lot coming from you guys. We’ve respected you all and dug your site for a long time now.

    Just wanted to update the “order” link since our physical run of “Required Reading” is currently out of print (hell yeah!). In the meantime, you can download a high-quality digital version of the album for only $6 right here:

    Thanks everybody!

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