Rowdy Texan barroom Americana.
Texan band The Vandoliers wanted to ensure the raw power of their live sets was properly translated into the studio. With this their fourth album, they have certainly succeeded. Having been on the road with the likes of Flogging Molly and Turnpike Troubadours they felt they had to harness the combination of a punk attitude and the country tradition and make it theirs.
This is an album that has a definite live feel to it. Yes, you can hear the influences of Flogging Molly in ‘Bless Your Drunken Heart’ and The Mavericks in ‘Too Drunk to Drive’ but they used those influences and then made them their own. In the track they tell the prospective suitor ‘they are too drunk to drive but not too drunk to drink’. It does nicely sum up the tone of the album
The drinking culture does play a huge part in many of the tracks and you can almost taste the beer flowing as the crowd sways to ‘Howlin’ with its lovely Irish feel. You can imagine everyone at the end of the evening arms around each other singing loudly to the chorus drinks in hand. They remember how much they regret taking Saturday nights for granted and ‘chasing whiskey with their rowdy friends’ then driving off to drink moonshine, kissing and more under the stars. A picture of the joys of being young and growing up in Texas.
Even though the good time theme runs through, the style of the tracks are very different and varied with a lot of brass and strings which makes each one consistently interesting. They are clearly very tight both as musicians and as a band. This is evidenced by the motto that they all have tattooed on their arms, ‘Vandoliers Forever, Forever Vandoliers’ clearly a demonstration of band collective togetherness.
A tight goodtime album that has a wonderful feel about it.