The Railbenders

Southbound

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    6
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With a pinch of Tejano in it, this rockabilly group starts off with the title track. Describing the descent into hell, lead singer James Dalton has a delivery that is part singing and part speaking. The bridge permits the guitars of Dalton and Chris Flynn to duel while Tyson Murray plunks his upright bass. A more standard rockabilly and hillbilly feeling engulfs "Whiskey Saturday Night," about a gambling affair gone sour. Whiskey also is a topic in "Whiskey Drinkin' Man," which follows the same toe-tapping blueprint. The song has the same appeal that "Mystery Train" by Elvis Presley does. The slow honky tonk of "Lonesome Train" is passable but adds little to the overall album. Rousing and rambling rockabilly is highlighted on "Minus One." Similar to groups like BR5-49, the tone of the song demonstrates the strength of the genre when it's done right. Another asset the band has is performing a clichéd genre with a large amount of finesse and enthusiasm. "There Was a Time" shouldn't be skipped over at any cost, by far the best track of the ten presented. Without a doubt, the cover version of Ozzy Osbourne's "Crazy Train" is almost jaw-dropping for the simple fact it works quite well in a honky tonk fashion. The chorus sounds a bit forced in places, but generally it's pleasing to the ears. A clunker here is the cowpunk vibe running in "Breakneck Speed." The song resembles a shoddy attempt by Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet trying the same style. Closing with a surf guitar à la the Pulp Fiction soundtrack on "Dead Man's Walk," the Railbenders should blaze a long and fruitful path for themselves.

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