The Weeks

Comeback Cadillac

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Saying that bands who pursue a Southern rock bent can't be emotionally fraught would be a ridiculous statement -- just ask Lynyrd Skynyrd for a start -- but it's probably a bit strange sounding to simply call one emo. Yet on Comeback Cadillac there's a frayed edge to the chunky guitar rock of the Weeks that calls to mind the late '80s/early '90s style, if also shot through with the kind of sound and style once memorably described as "the Eddie Vedder yarl." Lead singer Cyle Barnes has that slightly quavering and passionate tone to his voice that bespeaks a youth spent playing Ten and Vs into the ground -- on "Hold It Kid (Your Heart Just Skipped a Beat)," the combination of that voice and the guitar twang, not to mention the "it's-gonna-be-all-right" lyrics about "your daddy tripping with a needle in his arm" -- it's almost too clear, if still handled well enough. Other signs of what's out there creep in from the side -- there's a crisp neo-post-punk clip to "Buttons" that provides an attractive enough contrast to the scraggle in the arrangements, resulting in its being one of the standout songs, while the lovely duet with Allie Peden on the acoustic guitar-led "Sailor Song" is a fine out-of-time grunge ballad. Not everything works -- the clunky funk of "Mississippi Rain" shows that the Red Hot Chili Peppers have caused more damage than they'll ever know -- and the album as a whole is promising more than distinct. Still, there's a passable take on their various influences gelling here, and the future may yet lead to more for them.

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