Rhinestone River

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For indie anti-folk artist Shawn Cripps' third album, Rhinestone River, his band of merry men (Harlan T. Bobo, Jack Yarber, and Nick Ray) ad libs and crunches its way through a loose pile of off-kilter songs. On this, Limes’ first U.S. release, the production sticks to a purposely raw vibe, which is combined with the slack ruggedness of ‘60s rock and country-fried alt-rock. K Records is a definite touchstone, as is Beck’s One Foot in the Grave and Velvet Underground’s debut. Garage rockers like "Kantina Katrina" and "Do You Mind" surge past the sleepy numbers ("Vacation," “Rhinestone River,” and “Ice Caps”). Playful mariachi horns help revive the fading party of "Good Times," with its chiming guitars, crunchy dime-store amps, and fuzz bass, while in “Bad Year” an out of tune three-piece threatens to come unraveled as the vocalist looks back at somber times of sitting in a dark room watching Perry Mason. Although the content’s not all an easy walk in the park, it sounds like Limes are having themselves a good ol’ time putting on a show in your living room. Everything is recorded dry, to make it sound spatially close and live, but the record’s true feeling of intimacy comes from the centerpiece: Cripps’ deep, mumbled, barfly vocals.

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