The Smoking Flowers

2 Guns

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2 Guns Review

by Fred Thomas

Married couple Kim and Scott Collins fell in love in a rush when Scott moved from New York to Nashville in 1998 and the two were smitten, wed, and making music together within half a year of meeting. The fiery urgency that characterized their romantic beginnings carries over into their '60s-inspired honky tonk Americana songs as the Smoking Flowers. Second album 2 Guns captures the same spirit of young lovers in trouble that graced turbulent country-rock classics by Emmylou Harris and Gram Parsons and even has some of the same manic family-style rock energy of Led Zeppelin or early White Stripes in their most down-home moments. In its quieter offerings, such as the brokedown melancholy of "Low" and the bright-eyed waltz of "Twilight," the duo taps into a heavy Neil Young vein, accentuated by the roomy, barnlike production of the album, which can recall the earthy feel of Harvest or the Band's Music from Big Pink. Moving between old-timey country-rock weepers and high-powered blasts of rootsy power, the Smoking Flowers have crafted a remarkably strong and inspired album, taking cues from past masters but rooted in their own stories and personal flair.

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