Forgive The City by Country Westerns album review by Greg Walker for Northern Transmissions


Forgive The City

Country Westerns

Something like if the Old 97’s were fronted by Tom Waits, with the poetic leanings of David Berman, Country Westerns is a welcome addition to the indie rock scene from Nashville by way of NYC. It’s no surprise drummer Brian Kotzur, who used to be the drummer for Berman’s Silver Jews hopped on board, to play with guitarist and singer Joey Plunket, and legend has it, they started out playing for small shows, with David Berman as their main audience member. Later on, they were joined by Sabrina Rush, who added melodic bass to the mix.

The songs on their latest album, Forgive The City, deal in mercy and drinking in equal measure. “Started out, absolutely amateurs aiming for an hour to kill / Living hand to hand / We got to drink what we didn’t spill.” The story songs are compelling and clever, and they manage to rock your face off for twelve, mostly two-minute songs. Plunket’s whiskey-soaked growl is the centerpiece, but the snarling guitars are a close second. And, of course, the drums.

They say about their music, that it is “depressing songs with fun drums,” and it does get heavy, with songs about how “Hell is here all the time” and “When something goes wrong you know it right away.” But there is a sweetness to the songs, as well. An undergirding desire to just be decent human beings. “I think I learned a lesson or two / I think that I deserve a few / On the house.”

Their sound is a revelation, adding a gritty feel to a historically very clean genre of music, and like Tom Waits, there is a pathos to their dark and rowdy rock. If they haven’t caught on yet, you can be pretty sure that they will in due time, with this new collection of witty, wise, and wild songs. There’s both a raw, “blue collar” feel to their songs, and an intellectual, collegiate feel at the same time. They play it cool, but like their name, there is something really epic about this band. Check it out for yourself.

Pre-order Forgive The City by Country Westerns HERE


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