The Kickbacks

Blue Man's Collar

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This Boston-based road-weary trio-cum-quintet combines much of the roots rock stuff found in "No Depression" with lyrics and sentiments that straddle the psychiatrist's couch. "Empty Head" is a Jayhawkian twanger while "Two Days Away" is a Soul Asylum "Runaway Train" ride. "Junction 159" is a meeting of mild punk and heavy country with lyrical spit and layered guitar twang. The cowbell keeps the time on "Sort of Character," establishing a bovine bass for the band's wooly guitars and tongue-twisted rhyme-forcing chorus deliveries. The EP closes with the pseudo-spiritual Tom Petty rocker "Mr. Moses" which combines Heartbreaking instrumentation with Crow Counting delivery. Though the music is solid and upbeat, it is not much of a stretch for a band capable of more.

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