Parmalee

Feels Like Carolina

  • AllMusic Rating
    8
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

Parmalee is a tight-knit band consisting of brothers Matt Thomas (guitar, vocals) and Scott Thomas (drums), cousin Barry Knox (bass), and childhood friend Josh McSwain (guitar, keyboards), all of whom grew up together near Greenville, North Carolina, and what they play is rock, full of big drums and slashing, fuzzy electric guitar runs, overlaid with country vocals and themes, a hybrid that both contemporary country and rock/pop stations are undoubtedly happy to embrace. A veteran band (whose members have been playing music together in various configurations since they were teenagers, with some ten years of gigging and touring under their belts, plus an independent album and a pair of EPs), Parmalee was poised to break through to the next level when drummer Scott Thomas was shot three times during a robbery of the band's RV after a show in Rock Hill, South Carolina, spending ten days in a coma and a month and a half in the hospital. He recovered enough to play a showcase for Stoney Creek Records, which signed the band to a record deal. Following a pair of singles, "Musta Had a Good Time," which peaked at 38 in the Top 40 country charts, and the poignant "Carolina," which went Top Ten, Parmalee's second album, and first on a nationally distributed label, Feels Like Carolina, shows a band that, at its best, combines gritty Southern garage rock with lead singer Matt Thomas' pure country vocals. A few tracks here feel generic, but the standouts, like the post-party anthem "Musta Had a Good Time," the heartfelt and striking "Carolina," and the beautiful "My Montgomery," present a band more than ready for a prime-time audience.

blue highlight denotes track pick