Mulehead

Finer Thing

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Mulehead's fourth album continues on the path blazed by the earlier three, but it's the end of the line. Singer/songwriter Kevin Kerby, who had recently become a new father, announced before the album's release that it would be the band's last, and there's a hang-it-all-up weariness to some of the lyrics that suggests he had been planning to split for some time. The opening "There Are Nights" (the middle eight of which rather baldly rips off the main riff from the Call's "The Walls Came Down" for no readily apparent reason) is a philosophical goodbye to the rock & roll lifestyle, and the wry but seemingly heartfelt "Gardeners' Manifesto" looks forward to domestic tranquility with an unjaundiced eye. The band's trademark mix of rootsy rockers like "Stubborn Blood" and traditionally minded country tunes like "Cottonmouths and Copperheads" and the lovely "Crows on a Wire" is as solid as ever, and Kerby remains in fine voice, making Finer Thing that rarity, a band going out on a high point.

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