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 lose 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.