I recently went on a date with someone who likes to go to museums and keep up with contemporary literature. I thought to myself, "What the hell am I doing here? I go watch bar bands and then I go home and write about them like they're sublime." It's a gross generalization, of course -- I know that most of the music on here Matters, but I don't think the Whitney will be hosting a forum on Micah Schnabel's corpus any time soon. And even then, the familiar strains of country and punk help the clever lyrics stand out in contrast. The music on this site isn't produced by bar bands -- it's written by smart people who hang out in bars.
The Waco Brothers' new release, Going Down in History, has one foot planted firmly in "party music" and the other in "sublime." The first track off the album, "DIYBOB" beautifully interweaves the personal and political -- allusions to breaking up the band and climate change cohabit peacefully -- with a churning cow-punk backdrop that perfectly communicates the frustration and swagger of the band.
While I'm admitting to my own lack of sophistication, I also never truly understood how classical music aficionados could compare two musicians' performance of the same song -- it all sounds the same to me. But maybe I've just listened to enough four-chord country songs to be impressed by the Waco Brothers' downright confidence. It fills all the songs on the album and is notable simply because it's so rare. The band is equally at home with punk, straight country and rockabilly. Each song is a joy. If this is indeed the band's last album, as "DIYBYOB" promises, it's certainly a high note to go out on.
Waco Brothers -- Official, Purchase from Bloodshot Records