Phoenix Thunderstone

Stained Glass Trash

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Phoenix Thunderstone's second album, Stained Glass Trash, finds the group coming across like an updated -- that is, a Jon Spencer-ized -- cowpunk group, kicking out a frenzied, kitschy version of country-punk. It isn't surprising that the band is better at sheer noise than songwriting -- this is the kind of band that was born to play live, where they can bait the audience and explode with energy -- and that makes the record frustrating: you can hear their potential, but it becomes clear they don't quite know how to write the hooks and songs to realize it. Still, the moments where it all comes together are invigorating, and the crackling sound of the band alone makes Stained Glass Trash worth a listen.

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