The V-Roys

Just Add Ice

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The liner notes of the V-Roys' Just Add Ice contain an endorsement from the album's co-producer and alt-country's favorite hardcore troubadour, Steve Earle, hailing the Tennessee quartet as "an important band, believe that." Earle's comments should come as no surprise since the V-Roys deliver the same jangling, melancholy country-rock that he himself has perfected over the years, though without his rebellious edge. The album is a little rough around the edges compared to its 1998 follow-up, the more subtle, but endlessly melodic All About Town. Here the band exerts plenty of energy, pumping out some good old rock & roll on tracks such as "Guess I Know I'm Right," "Cry," and "Sooner or Later." When the guys do slow down the tempo, the remind the listener that country music was never meant to be pretty, with songs like "Goodnight Loser" and "Lie I Believe." Finally, the band shows its playful side with the closing track "Cold Beer Hello," which sports a swaggering rhythm and an air of spontaneity. Time will tell if the V-Roys are as important as their mentor claims them to be, but Just Add Ice is certainly a step in the right direction.

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