Tales of mentally scarred bank robbers, unrepentant sinners, and harrowing frontier battles mixed with traditional country sounds, this westward looking debut album is simply hard not to like. The clean, undiluted country-rock shuffle of "Everybody Knows," the endearingly off-the-cuff sounding "She Don't Love You," and the bouncing cow-punk of "Up and Gone" make for a nicely varied sound. Well versed in old school C&W, the honky-tonk of "Big Wheel" certainly recalls Junior Brown, just as "Just Call Me Lonesome" brings to mind the classic steel guitar drenched sound of the Flying Burrito Brothers. Still, Trophy Husbands are just as comfortable with the underlying tension of the forewarning fiddle in the historical Arizona massacre described in the title track, the stark Western aesthetic of "Willie," and the threatening "Until Then." In short, there are more than a few songs here that Johnny Cash would sound great singing. Nice harmonies, sharp guitar work, and excellent production that brings out the sounds at their boldest, all contribute to Dark and Bloody Ground truly succeeding on every level.
AllMusic Review by Matt Fink