SLOW ROLLIN' LOWS – ERIE STREET


A bunch of relative youngsters compared to the greats from which they take their name the Slow Rollin’ Lows show no immaturity on their sophomore release Erie Street. Their name is from a song straight out of the fountainhead years of Red Dirt Music, penned by Billy Joe Shaver and belted out by Waylon Jennings on Honky Tonk Heroes and they do right by greats they invoke by choosing the name. Formed in the sweltering summer of 2006 when Calvin “Pug” Johnson got together with drummer Jeremy Porter and Jordan Dean on bass. While only a three piece band these boys hit hard and don’t apologize. I have heard tell that the sophomore album is one of the hardest for a band since you have to combine your live shows with whatever first album you released and still manage to please your fans and while I can’t say I have seen SRL play live, something I plan to remedy, this album doesn’t feel like a second release. The tunes are polished, the lyrics flow, and the band is tight. Top that off with clean production and you have one of the best albums to come out of the scene this year.

SRL pulls off the outlaw sound without it feeling ripped off. In fact I think you drop the boys from Fannett, Texas right into the heydays of the outlaw country scene and no-one would think twice about them being there. With nods to Jackson Taylor in the lyrics (Hippies, Drunks and Rednecks), obvious hat tips to some of the greats in their musical stylings (Green Eyed Girl) and songs that inspire the sort of drinking that leads to organ failure (Sad Country Song) this is, hands down, an album that’s going on my top ten for the year. Some college bands I have heard don’t have the maturity to pull off a career in music. They get together and put out an album or two, if that, and then disappear as the members graduate and get real jobs. SRL are all audio engineering majors at Lamar State College but I think their music will take them farther than their degrees. They avoid the usual college country party sound and instead opt for songs that display an understanding of life’s ups and downs. I could write a blurb, at the very least, about every song on this release and that’s the best thing about it. There’s not one track that is worth skipping. Hell it’s hard to pick just three for this review but luckily for you the album is easy to acquire over at their website. I want to go on a lot more about this album but that could be due to a lack of sleep or a lack of whiskey and me wanting to kill time until I can one or the other so I’ll wrap it up and let you decide for yourself about Slow Rollin’ Lows.

Slow Rolli’n Lows – Crying Clown Blues
Slow Rollin’ Lows – Hippies, Drunks, and Rednecks
Slow Rollin’ Lows – Our Brothers

Slow Rollin’ Lows – Official Site
Slow Rollin’ Lows – Facebook
Slow Rollin’ Lows – Myspace

GREENLAND IS MELTING – OUR HEARTS ARE GOLD, OUR GRASS IS BLUE


Sometimes I wish I listened to the people around me more often. If I had, I wouldn’t have missed the Greenland Is Melting show in Tampa earlier this month. Truth is, I was feeling worn out, a little broke and I didn’t even bother Googling the name when the show was suggested to me. About a week after that exchange, I was in my computer room putting on my shoes and I look over at one of the stacks of cds I need to be listening to and see the Greenland Is Melting cd. Having recalled the conversation about the show, I pulled it out of the stack and took it to the car. As luck would have it, the very next day Karl from the band dropped me an email asking if I’d received the cd.

Greenland is Melting is the Gainesville, Florida trio of Karl Seltzer, Will Dueease and Shaun Pereira and Our Hearts Are Golden is their sophomore release. Soundwise, the best way for me to describe this band would be to say that they sound like what I wanted to hear the first time I heard The Avett Brothers.  They play a ragged form of folk-country with a punk attitude that seems so loose and relaxed that it always seems like it’s on the edge of coming apart. The bands shares vocal duties on all the songs, and like the music the voices are so different that the harmonies seem like they could devolve into dischord at any minute. The thing is that the album never fell apart, and as it wore on I just kept getting pulled further and further in until what seemed strange and challenging on first listen became quirky and charming.

There is a line on “Kitchen Song” that goes, “No, no, no, we don’t have them songs for the radio. But we have songs for the kitchen that our friends know.” I seriously doubt you’ll find a more honest line on a record and I think it sums up Greenland Is Melting, as well as what Our Hearts Are Gold, Our Grass Is Blue is all about. You can get this entire album for free over on GiM’s Bandcamp site and trust me, it’s worth the download.

Greenland Is Melting – Blood On The Banjo
Greenland Is Melting – No More Sorry Songs
Greenland Is Melting – The Kitchen Song

Greenland Is Melting on myspace, Download Our Hearts Are Gold, Our Grass Is Blue