This little album was released almost a year ago, May 2009, and didn’t get noticed by many of the folks I read and didn’t get a mention here. I only found it today thanks to Kelly’s post over on Twangville. (Make sure not to miss his SXSW pics and comments since yours truly apparently sucks at actually writing about big events). I may loseWeight Exercise some street cred but I sort of liked MxPx way back when but haven’t thought about them in years. So when I saw that Mike Herrera was fronting a twang band I was intrigued and had to go get a copy at Amazon and check it out. I was hoping for something different to be completely honest. I wanted a gritty southern/alt-country record that would inspire me to find a new whiskey for my next Booze Talk and that’s not what I got. While not what I wanted I was pleasantly surprised at what I did find when queued this up.

Now I don’t expect that every 9B reader will enjoy Tumbledown’s offering but I think it may find a niche in some of your collections. I also plan to depart from the norm around here and make comparisons to let you know what you’ll find when you press play on this one. Imagine Mike Ness got together with ALL during the Dave Smalley years and The Stray Cats then had an illegitimate child (autopsy says: HUH?) and you’ll have an idea of some of what you’ll find on Tumbledown’s self titled release. The lyrics are better than the music in my opinion but that’s mainly because the music is too clean. It feels like it should have a little more…something. That’s not to say it isn’t a decent piece of work overall and they do harken to that ALL connection I mentioned in a six degrees kind of way with Jon Snodgrass helping on Son of a Gun. I could see using this album on a road trip during the day on a straight highway without wanting to hit random and find another song but it’s drinking music. The more I listen to it the more I think it might not be the music sounding clean but maybe it’s Mike’s voice. Something doesn’t fit quite right on some of the songs.

In short this won’t be Essential Listening but I think it may find a place on my MP3 player at some point. I always appreciate artists expanding the musical repertoire and anyone who can get Jon Snodgrass to offer his vocal stylings must be doing something right even if I can’t put my finger on it. Heck maybe this one won’t grow on me because it’s not my cup of tea. I do hope it finds one or two of you that like it out there even if I was a year late in reviewing it.

Tumbledown – Butcher of San Antone
Tumbledown – Came Here To Fight
Tumbledown – Son of a Gun (feat. Jon Snodgrass)

Tumbledown’s Official Web Site
Tumbledown on MySpace

5 thoughts on “TUMBLEDOWN – TUMBLEDOWN:”

  1. I don’t know if forced is the right word although it seems to fit. Mike seems to have taken that pop-punk/emo vocal style and changed pretty much nothing but making it a little more nasal and put it to country music. It’s almost a strange marriage of emo and country. At least that’s what I think after having a few more listens. I still can’t hate it but I don’t love it either. I can’t explain that really. I still think the problem is it sounds too clean. There’s grit in the words but none in the music or vocals. Too much harmony and not enough grit but somehow I’m still listening to it.

  2. I dug MxPx (and just about everything else on Tooth&Nail) back in my christian punk days but lost track of them with time. I picked up the EP Tumbledown put out before this album and dug it enough to get the album. First off i’ll say the EP seems much better then the album. Not sure why. Maybe it is a little less polished then the album. The album doesn’t seem like it has much weight to it. I can’t pin it down much better then that either. I like a bunch of the songs but it just doesn’t hit me to hard. Maybe it’s a grower that hasn’t been given enough time. It is strange to hear Mike Herrera sing about drinking until he falls down too. I think i’ll end up putting some of these tunes on mix CD’s more then checking the album through and through.

    One thing about the EP though – for some reason the song “Ballad of a Factory Man” sounds like Richard Marx to me for some reason.

  3. I was also hoping for a lot with this release as I was a big MxPx fan growing up. Got the album in the mail and… blah. Some of the songs will grow on you, get stuck in your head even, but when you revisit the album it still sucks. That being said, I saw them open for Two Cow a few weeks ago and they were pretty solid live. I’d advise skipping the album but seeing them when they come through – good time rockabilly with pop-punk vocals but a lot of fun.

  4. Thanks for the shout-out RSV. I only came across this due to seeing that they are opening up for Branan near me soon, up in Frisco, TX.

    I see where the other commenters are coming from. I can see how it may sound forced, but i really like spirit and the direction of the album, even if Tumbledown isnt as raw or “real” as say, .357 or soemone of that ilk…

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