All in Your Head

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Although they might be classed as part of the alt-country movement, Missouri's Hadacol (named for the elixir that sponsored radio shows by the legendary Hank Williams) are really American roots rockers. To be sure, there's a touch of country in their sound, as on the twanging harmonies that begin "Down Again." But they cover plenty of ground, from the goofy "What I'm Doin' Wrong," which sounds like lazy Alabama, to the '60s garage pop of "Airplane Song," a track that in the golden age of AM radio could well have been a hit. Considering that the Wickham brothers have great reputations as songwriters, it's interesting that the most revved- up and electrifying piece here is a version of the traditional "Little Sadie," where the guitars rip and roar and the track takes on an ominously dark quality. For the most part, however, their happy Midwestern roots show through, especially on the sweet love rocker "Be With You," with its extolling of traditional small-town family values. Musically, the band's a case where the whole is greater than the sum of their parts; no single player is that great, but together they achieve a good chemistry that heightens the sound. So, while not brilliant by any means, they do pack a middleweight punch.

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