Coming home from a long day at work and I open my mailbox to find a plain white envelope. Open said envelope and pull out a CD with words "New Country Rehab" printed on the cover. The name of the band catches my attention right away- Rehab and Country music have gone together like peanut butter and jelly - but I'm allergic to peanut butter- however I have been known to flirt with death from time to time, after all when it's your time to go it's your time to go...so I put the disc into my kitchen CD player...
Well folks. This Canadian Quartet is showing us how alternative country music should be done.
This is hands down one of the best bands I've heard in a very long time. They possess the three things I think make a great band magical - Raw Talent, Originality and Honest to goodness songwriting...in other words New Country Rehab simply kicks ass and takes names on the the album "ghost of your charms"
The album kicks off with the track "Empty Room Blues" - it starts off quiet, picks up some energy and before you know it this band has lit the musical dynamite. Vocalist/Fiddler John Showman, Bassist Ben Whitley and percussionist Roman Tome are one hell of a tight unit...a musical force to be reckoned with. One minute they're swaying gently like a screen door in the breeze the next they're calling down the thunder in a post- modern honky-tonk hail storm...but that's not all, No! There are some serious pop gems lurking in the shadows on this album as well - reminding me of what REM might have sounded like had they had balls and were formed in an East Texas roadhouse, one of them being the essential track "Luxury Motel" which displays some incredibly powerful lyricism and tight hooks that keep the listener guessing. A GREAT song!
That's the fantastic thing about this album in it's entirety - EVERY song stands on it's own. The track "Rollin''' has a killer outlaw vibe and the perfectly original take on Hank William's "Too Many Parties and Too Many Pals" will have you thinking the band wrote it themselves if you didn't know any better.
From beginning to finish this is not only a refreshingly cool album to take in, but an inspiring one as well. There aren't that many artists out there that are breaking the mold of what country music should sound like in any form. New Country Rehab is living up to their name. Not only have they rehabilitated my faith that original bands still exist - they have resurrected my hopes that this great genre of music, call it Americana, Insurgent Country or whatever (!) can continue on and remain innovative. New Country Rehab prove there's new sounds to mine and treasure to be had and they do it with style.
I highly recommend that you BUY THIS ALBUM. Download the hell out of it...and if you're ever in Hogtown (aka the grittier side of Toronto) and these fellas are throwing it down, get your ass to whatever venue they're calling home for the night and expect great things. It's time to go to Rehab- somehow I think it's going to be one hell of a party.
This album is easily my pick for the best album of 2013.