Sundowner is alternately a lone, limp-eared horse and a stampede. Marshaling it all is Chis McCaughan, also songwriter/guitarist for darling Chicago punk band The Lawrence ArmsNeon Fiction is his third and most anticipated album as Sundowner–following his surprising debut Four-One-Five-Two (2007) and the understated but deeply satisfying We Chase the Waves (2010)–and it succeeds at showcasing everything McCaughan does well. The somber solo-acoustic songs shaded with his blue roan voice, the full(er)-band palominos that would impress fans of The Jayhawks and The Smoking Popes alike. Neon Fiction also offers a new breed of Sundowner song; on “Concrete Shoes” and “We Drift Eternal” things get a little Schwarzenbach-ier, dancier, spiked with venomy libations. In-and-out in 34 minutes, this a damn good record; a Chicago (though McCaughan now lives in the northwest) songwriter record worth mentioning with Steve Goodman‘s; a cold-weather novella to bookmark with red leaves, to read with brown liquors.

Sundowner – Cemetery West
Sundowner – Concrete Shoes
Sundowner – Grey on Grey
Sundowner – Wildfires

Find Neon Fiction on vinyl, CD, and MP3 on Fat Wreck Chords and iTunes (MP3s are cheaper at Fat Wreck!!). Follow Sundowner on Facebook.

Author: Mike Ostrov

Mike Ostrov relays the history of popular song on message boards and under rocks.