The Bottle Rockets

Leftovers

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AllMusic Review by

It's not too difficult to figure out why much of the material here was left in the vaults at the end of the 24 Hours a Day sessions. "My Own Cadillac" makes a big, grinding racket, but goes nowhere. "Skip's Song," an uncharacteristically introspective, singer/songwriter tribute to Moby Grape madman Skip Spence, seems to drag in comparison to its more rollicking company. "Coffee Monkey" and the fake Irish ballad "Chattanooga" are both novelty songs that border on the daft. On the other hand, Bottle Rockets fans will find more than enough to love mixed in with the experimentation and monkey business. "Get Down River" is Brian Henneman and company at their best, telling the story of everyday folks whose lives are inextricably linked with the rise and fall of the Mississippi. Like Bruce Springsteen with a broader sense of humor, Henneman gives a voice full of grace and grit to otherwise unsung Americans. "Financing His Romance" is another short story, this one the wry tale of a loser in love with a bar-owner's girlfriend. "If Walls Could Talk" swings like a lost country & western classic, and "Dinner Train to Dutchtown" matches its amusing lyrics to a pleasantly ramshackle blues groove. Throughout Leftovers, the band plays with its accustomed, no-fuss virtuosity. They manage to sound tight and loose at the same time. The lyrics are keen-eyed narratives at best, good, raucous fun at worst. When it comes to great, underappreciated artists like the Bottle Rockets, even a stopgap release like this one can yield some mighty fine rewards.

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