Album Reviews

Music You Don't Know You Like Yet

BACKYARD TIRE FIRE

Vagabonds and Hooligans

2007-01-12

There is nothing to get excited about on this album and that is precisely the strength of this Midwest band’s third CD; no rock your socks off standouts, although 11-Downtime is in the neighborhood, and no surprises. On their third full-length disk, these three guys and a few musical support pals find good range and variety on the horizontal plane, where they rely on their musicianship to draw out the varied sounds of acoustic, electric, slide, pedal steel and baritone guitars, dobro, violin, drones, synthesizer and organ, without losing themselves in the vertical. Only in 5-Corinne, 7-Tom Petty, and 11-Downtime do they flirt with losing their good vocals in louder, more raucous noise, which is not to say they are not playable. While retaining a feeling of homegrown, the CDs production quality is good enough to keep the listener in these noisier tunes. The rest of the album is slightly more up-tempo than laid back which is to say, with elements of folk, pop, alt-country, Southern rock, R&B and rock’n’roll, this CD works from end to end. One of the cool things about this band and this collection is the variety of sounds that remind of other better known musicians like Wilco, Neil, old REM, Drive-by-Truckers, Whiskeytown…. Good stuff. – Michael Burgwin

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Compiled by the WYCE Journalism Club

The opinions expressed in these reviews are those of the individual volunteers that submitted the article and do not necessarily reflect the views of WYCE or GRCMC; nor its staff, donors, or affiliates.