The Electrics

Reel Folk 'n' Rock 'n' Roll

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This release is a return to form that the Electrics exhibited on The Whole Shebang (1995) and, to a lesser degree, Big Silent World (1993), both of which were released on Germany's Pila Records. With a no-apologies approach that stresses punk, country, and Celtic rock, one has to wonder if the American label Sarabellum (who released the group's two previous albums) didn't fully tap into this band. Although the Electrics retained Phil Madeira as its producer (he also produced Livin' It Up When I Die), this album has more a roots rock and less of the big-rock sound of its predecessor. The punk rhythms are particularly evident on tracks such as "The Finest Fiddle," "The Grass Is Greener," "Someone Loves You Anyway," and Gordon Gano's "Rejoice and Be Happy," the second Violent Femmes selection that the Electrics have covered. The band's country affinities are revealed on "Kaydee's Lament," "Both Sides of You," and "If I Could Say I Love You," all of which utilize Madeira's instrumental skill on accordion and B-bender guitar. Newcomer to and fiddler of the group, Tim Cotterell contributes a classic Celtic rock instrumental "Dennis Goes and Does It," while the traditional influence is felt on "Jenny MacDonald's Birthday" and "Lazarus," the latter of which utilizes the melody of "Star of the County Down." From beginning to end, this album mirrors the Buddy Miller-produced The Whole Shebang, meaning that the Electrics should stick with Nashville producers and German record labels.

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