Appalachian Death Ride

Appalachian Death Ride

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Galloping rhythms, squelching feedback, three- or four-chord changes per song, and moments that sound like R.E.M. and Pink Floyd under the musical direction of George Jones are all part of this album. A bumbling Southern-type growl leads the track "Willow Garden," which is a trip to Texas without actually having to go there. Highlights such as "Sunrise," with its gurgling bass and drums, sound like a forest filled with amazingly loud electric guitars that are shaking squirrels down from the trees. Other numbers like "St. Anthony" mix banjos and guitars, making you envision indie rock kids square-dancing at a slightly askew hoedown. Tragedy does strike though, as the band comes close to plagiarizing Neil Young's "Rockin' in the Free World" riff on "Slick." The group also has the tendency to overindulge in its fancies, as displayed on "M.I.B.," where the guitar solo decides to rattle the listener's teeth for over half the track in wild abandonment. With its mixed bag of well-planned compositions and half-baked mental snippets, you're bound to view this release as a glass that's either half full or half empty.

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