Night Driving in Small Towns

Serial Killer

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It's been a long, hard, lonely winter in Atlanta, GA, from the evidence of Night Driving in Small Towns' second full-length album, Serial Killer, released in April 2010. Lyricist and lead singer Andrea Rogers (sometimes joined on harmonies by her composing partner, Colby Wright) seems to have been having a hard time adjusting to life in the big city (the band moved up from south Georgia in 2008), not to mention having relationship troubles. That is to say, the first-person narrator of the songs she sings has been having those problems, anyway. Rogers and Wright begin with "February," in which they sing, "Sleeping in this cold apartment/Makes no sense when you're not in it," adding, "I can hear my upstairs neighbor/Putting down a crying baby/Everybody starts a family/I can't even pay my heating." In "Barstool," Rogers asks, "Why'd you have to go and break my heart?," and by the time she gets to the title song, which comments on how crowded the city is, but concludes that, even so, there isn't room enough for her and her ex, she is calling him, yes, a "serial killer," of a sort, anyway: "How can I love you when you kill me every time?" At the end, in "This Whole City," things have not gotten any better, as, over a lone strummed acoustic guitar, she complains about having to shovel snow and about her boisterous neighbors: "These kids keep talking so loud that I just can't hear/The whole world could probably end and they'd finish their beers." Happily, such melancholy sentiments are delivered in Rogers' appealing, matter-of-fact voice to the catchy, circular riff structures Wright has constructed to support them. It sounds a little like early R.E.M. as fronted by Leigh Nash, late of Sixpence None the Richer. But the character depicted in these songs needs to move back to the country and find a new boyfriend.

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