Album Reviews

Music You Don't Know You Like Yet

THE GOURDS

Heavy Ornamentals

2006-01-21

“The Gourds” have been relentlessly spewing up quality records that challenge the conventions of both country and pop music with equal parts earnestness and irreverence for over a decade. Bandleaders Kevin Russell and Jimmy Smith write hyper-literate songs that challenge even the most learned grad student while retaining enough "good old boy" idioms to placate the piss-drunk yahoo tapping his mirrored shades against the end of the bar. Their eighth full-length album, Heavy Ornamentals, doesn't stray far from the "juke joint in Samuel Clemens' brain" aesthetic that drove career highs like Stadium Blitzer and Ghosts of Hallelujah into alternative country hearts around the world. Recorded all analog in order to capture every note — mistakes are left in to add to the authenticity — Ornamentals is both their truest and most raw release in some time. -All Music Guide

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Compiled by the WYCE Journalism Club

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