We Roll On
There’s no missing the subtext in the title of Drew McAlister and Troy Kemp’s first album together after a seven-year hiatus. The opening title track acknowledges both hard times in the past and the undeniable comfort of settling into the familiar again. Likewise, the Aussie country-rock duo’s twofold vocals and hardy acoustic/electric guitar counterpoint are firmly back in place, as are Kemp’s streaking solos. With Kemp now based in Nashville and McAlister in the Blue Mountains near Sydney, the pair wrote their fourth studio album remotely during lockdown. What comes through most in the resulting songs is a celebratory spirit: “Nothin’ to Complain About” trades lyrics back and forth about their personal good fortune, while the cheeky “Paid for Drinking Beer” imagines an even luckier life spent downing brews for services rendered. More grounded by comparison is “Ice Cold Beer,” a rollicking tribute to bands playing all night to enthusiastic crowds.