Secret Emchy Society “The Chaser” (Independent, 2020)

How was last night? Did you spend it drinking Tennesee Bourbon cogitating on life’s injustices whilst the sound of a Fender Telecaster twanged along with the band playing in the background (albeit a recorded one during this dearth of live gigs)? You did? Well, Secret Emchy Society’s, new album might just be the one you choose to put on tonight’s playlist.

With titles like, ‘Whisky Fightin’ Terri’, ‘The Chaser’ and ‘I Get Drunk’, this album, with its Bakersfield influenced sound, is the perfect accompaniment to Tennesee’s finest. The first track, ‘Everything was Fine’ takes no prisoners with its driving beat and country guitar supporting the telling of loneliness on the road and associated themes. ‘Howlin’ Sober at the Moon’ opens with the lines. “I’m a little intense, I’ll give you that” which is a fair description of lead singer, Cindy Emch’s delivery throughout. ‘Whisky Fightin’ Terri’ talks of “Singing Like an Angel with the Devil Inside” and it’s hard not to imagine a lot of these songs which share that sentiment being played in a rowdy bar with more than a few swaying bodies. ‘The Chaser’ is a wonderful lilting, drunken waltz of a song whilst ‘Git ‘Er Done’ conjures up an image that might best be forgotten: “I was here with whiskey and smelling like gasoline”. Once you head towards the end of this whiskey sodden journey, as is always the way with the imbibing of the southern poison, things start to feel a bit tired, uninspired and a little repetitive. Enjoy the energy of the earlier parts of this recording and dare I say the spirit of them too?

Southern Comfort and Intensity
7/10

Author: Richard Phillips

From the leaden skies of Manchester to the sunny uplands of Cheshire, my quest is for authentic Americana. Love live music, my acoustic guitar and miss my baby (grand piano).

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