18 Songs, 1 Hour 4 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

This once Dallas-based alt-country quartet skewered the line between country, alternative rock, and power pop and even threw in a few distorted guitar attempts to suggest something harder. The band’s free spirit has made them difficult to categorize and this “Best Of” (they had no actual “hits,” so it’s a valiant attempt to figure their strongest material) features both fan favorites and obscurities from their first five albums. Marty Robbins’ “El Paso” was cut for the TV show King of the Hill. “Crying Drunk” was an early single. “Barrier Reef” and “Nineteen” are presented in their live versions, showing off the band’s best side, that of a tough, irreverent invigorated group who feed off adrenaline and an appreciative audience. Not that the group doesn’t hit its stride in the studio. “Doreen” features a punishing rhythm section. And singer Rhett Miller’s country twang on tunes such as “Victoria” and “Jagged” has strong grit and recalls ‘80s country-punk pioneer Jason Ringenberg (of Jason and the Scorchers) in its emotional sincerity while still forging his own style.

EDITORS’ NOTES

This once Dallas-based alt-country quartet skewered the line between country, alternative rock, and power pop and even threw in a few distorted guitar attempts to suggest something harder. The band’s free spirit has made them difficult to categorize and this “Best Of” (they had no actual “hits,” so it’s a valiant attempt to figure their strongest material) features both fan favorites and obscurities from their first five albums. Marty Robbins’ “El Paso” was cut for the TV show King of the Hill. “Crying Drunk” was an early single. “Barrier Reef” and “Nineteen” are presented in their live versions, showing off the band’s best side, that of a tough, irreverent invigorated group who feed off adrenaline and an appreciative audience. Not that the group doesn’t hit its stride in the studio. “Doreen” features a punishing rhythm section. And singer Rhett Miller’s country twang on tunes such as “Victoria” and “Jagged” has strong grit and recalls ‘80s country-punk pioneer Jason Ringenberg (of Jason and the Scorchers) in its emotional sincerity while still forging his own style.

TITLE TIME

Ratings and Reviews

4.8 out of 5
31 Ratings

31 Ratings

Jane1721 ,

Wow!

I'm a big fan of Texas music, so I've heard of these guys for years, but this is the first time I've actually listened to their music. I've been missing out! This is not your pop country, college crowd music, and the focus is definitely on the "alt" in alt-country. Every song is a winner, and the lyrics are just fantastic. Who comes up with this stuff?! (I know, Rhett Miller...it was a rhetorical question...)

Knappus ,

Crunchy Country Groove

Everything is great here. I had forgotten how wonderful their older stuff is. Perhaps this will inspire them to return to their roots a bit!

KathleenL ,

love it

I actually was a fan of Rhett Miller before Old 97's which I realize is a bit backwards, but this 'best of' compilation is just great. I've been playing it almost non-stop for the past two days. Lovely work gentlemen.

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