The Damnations TX

Half Mad Moon

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It was once said that the only thing alternative rock ever promised was authentically great American music. As a testament to this edict, Austin's Damnations TX debuts with Half Bad Moon, a fast driving, punk-funky, hoedown record hailing the happy advent of the new West. Talented, self taught sisters, Amy Boone and Deborah Kelly, strum and harmonize with verve and flexibility, pounding through 13 cowpunk tunes, most of them original (with contributions by songwriter Lucinda Willimas on "Sweet Old World") . "Spit and Tears" calls in the excellent banjoing of former Prescott Curlytail's Ron Bernanardand other high water marks like "Finger the Pie" and "Catch You Alive," both club favorites on the sun belt circuit. "Commercial Zone Blues" pays tribute to the fun, gritty era of searing live shows based at Antone's of Austin, with a bluesy dance ethic and references to the local landscape: "Fast food coupons blowing across the yard parking lot/Where they sit taking shots of rotgut long after the bar is closed, until dawn." Did you see Slacker? This record gets it even better. Boone and Kelly arrive at those perfect sisterly harmonies that only a lifetime of making music together can produce, as on the bluegrassy "Things I Once Adored." Drummer Keith Langford makes a solid contribution to this album before hiking off to the rejoin the Gourds, with whom DTX finds much musical kinship. A fine, young, strapping and rocking sound that legitimizes so many alternative efforts to combine, explore and re-present.

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