The Potato Eaters is drummer/percussionist Gino Robair's "country" rock project. If one can picture Tarnation with both male and female lead vocals and a pedal steel player you might get the picture -- if you combined them with the Crown of Creation-era Jefferson Airplane. But the Potato Eaters don't really sound like either of those acts. This band would be right at home recording for 4AD in this context. What makes the band work is their percussive edge and reliance on deep atmospherics in the mix provided by both David Phillips' steel guitar and Martin Ross' array of sounds on electric guitar -- only Buddy Miller has more, from heavy metal and avant rock to displaced sonics that float through the speakers like dust under light. Clocking in at just over 22 minutes, this is more an EP than an album, but with gorgeous gothic ballads like "If I Could Cry" and "My World" contrasted with hard rockers "Dog-Eared But Forgotten" and the funky, chunky, slow-groove guitar anthem "Gone." It's a fine first effort, and the band has a definite sound, but the songs aren't quite there, they still meander enough to distract the listener from their essences. I can't wait to hear more.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Thom Jurek