Red Star Belgrade

Where the Sun Doesn't Shine

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Red Star Belgrade is pretty American, for a band named after an Eastern-bloc soccer club -- Where the Sun Doesn't Shine comes from the most gritty and caustic elements of roots-rock and primitive country, topping twangy acoustics and brushed drums with mean, overdriven riffs and slurred, rustic vocals. The album fares just as well as Red Star's early singles, alternately conjuring up a dive-bar swagger and a sense of drunken introspection -- it's gritty, emotional, and occasionally unsettling material has an unimpeachable sense of musical (and cultural) purity. Yes, this makes it the sort of record that critics listen to one-handed -- but there's also an intensely compelling darkness to it that shouldn't escape any listener.

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