Quintessential college rock via Dallas, TX, act the Old 97's joins forces with their hometown contemporaries Funland (aka Melt aka Centro-Matic) on this 1995 cover-swapping EP. Each band performs an original tune, then covers the other's composition. "Stoned" (from the Old 97's 1994 debut Hitchhike to Rhome) is a slice of acoustic alt-country based around a low-twanging guitar over Philip Peeples' pattering, snare-led beat. "Well I'm flat broke, I've been smoking butts for days" sings Rhett Miller half-convincingly. Funland give the tune a rollicking reading. The group alternates between dark, decaying guitar lines and bursts of overdriven country-rock highlighted by a soaring slide line delivered midway through. Their own "Garage Sale" is rush of emo-driven power pop, with singer Will Johnson's voice fraying at the edges. The Old 97's manage to incorporate the tune, giving it the movement of a train-like shuffle. Both acts are accomplished at their chosen styles; it's just that those styles are fairly common. The only curio on Stoned and Funland, the Old 97's enjoyable take on "Garage Sale," will be of interest to fans intent on filling every hole in their collections. Others wanting a taste of the band's formative years should go directly to the Bloodshot Records compilation Early Tracks.
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AllMusic Review by Nathan Bush