Farewell to the Fainthearted

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Despite their origins in Brisbane, the Australian seven-piece Halfway is deeply influenced by American country-rock on the appealing Farewell to the Fainthearted. Not unlike early Wilco, Britain's Peter Bruntnell, or Ryan Adams' Heartbreaker album, this outfit's music is ripe with alcohol-soaked emotion. The barstool punch of "Patience Back" is a definitive opener, but the group's pedal steel and harmonica-infused feel is most effective when it's delivered in a midtempo ("Get Gone" and "Drunk Again") or a soft ballad ("Something for Yourself") style. If "Six Pack" is one of several numbers that reveal a kinship to the Drive-By Truckers, the band's gritty feel -- best found on the kiss-off rocker "Get Gone" -- is powerful enough to stand beside any of the aforementioned.

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