This fantastic soundtrack to an independent coming-of-age film about a young Montana football player not only includes entries from Bloodshot Records' best and brightest (Ryan Adams, Neko Case, and Blood Oranges, for example), but a beautiful and delicate score by Uncle Tupelo's Jay Farrar. Farrar's music, which is interspersed throughout the songs, is so subtle, so emotive, it effortlessly captures the feeling of driving an old car across the bleak, two-lane roads of the Midwest. This record is the sound of traveling, or dreaming of travel at least; the sound of being stuck in the same place for too long; the sound of change. From Vic Chesnutt and Freakwater's old-timey country to Ryan Adams' freewheeling "To Be Young" (arguably his best tune), The Slaughter Rule is one of the greatest collections of alternative country you're apt to find. Speedy West & Jimmy Bryant add an oddity with the exotic Pacific sounds of "West of Samoa" and Neko Case grabs the prize for the record's most sublime and purely powerful cut, "Porchlight." Still, it's Farrar's strange and almost surreal, rootsy instrumentals that are really breaking new ground.
AllMusic Review by Charles Spano