Morning Wood

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The debut disc from the Rugburns, led by singer and former Jewel collaborator Steve Poltz, is a funny, well-played take on country-tinged music with a shocking amount of similarities to Ween's tweaked-out 12 Golden Country Greats. Talking 'bout drugs, chicks, riots, and Eddie Vedder, the twisted group wades through laid-back tunes on mostly acoustic instruments and rarely holds back from pulling any punches. "Hits" like the twisted road story "Hitchhiker Joe" or the hilarious hoedown of "My Carphone's on the Pill" are sure to make fans of lowbrow humor crack a grin, and the downright filthy string of concepts weaved in with tons of pop culture references is always a recipe for a hit or two. Humorous musicians only have a chance to do something legitimate when they can at least play their instruments to a believable degree, and the Rugburns certainly know how to write and play a catchy and ridiculous song quite well. There is some really funny stuff on this record, and every once in a while it sounds like Wilco got their hands on some bad acid, but that seems like what the group is going for. Even if you can't stand the rest of this smart and original record, it is nearly impossible to ignore the hilarious closing track, "Me and Eddie Vedder," with references ranging from Tom Wolfe to The Brady Bunch. Give the Rugburns a chance -- they're pretty damn funny.

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