Produced by John Keane (R.E.M., Indigo Girls), the debut album by the Athens, GA-based Catfish Jenkins offers up a healthy dose of Southern alternative rock. In actuality, Normaltown is a nine-song album with four short quirky fillers that don't really add anything substantial to the composition of the album. The opening track, "The Wishing Time," exemplifies the band's pop-based sound as Jason Cameron's bassline rises and falls as a prologue to Wes Yoakam's tinny vocals. The band shows off its bluesy side with a raging harmonic intro, throaty vocals, fiery guitars, and sustained hovering keyboards on the track "The Hungriest Wolves." The record closes with "Dakota," a juxtaposition of blissful acoustic guitar tenderness and an exuberant crescendo building energy. Their performance has merit, but overall the bandmembers will need to hone their songwriting skills before they are ready for the national spotlight.
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AllMusic Review by Erik Crawford