Soulful and cinematic country with a few surprises thrown in.
‘Wet & Unlucky’ is a collaboration between Massachusetts sadcore band Tiger Saw and Arkansas country act Dylan Earl & The Reasons Why. The two groups met when Tiger Saw frontman, Dylan Metrano, booked The Reasons Why to play a show with his outfit. He fell in love with their ‘old school country sound’ and suggested a collaboration.
In fact, the arresting opening song, which is also the title track of the first album they’ve made together, recounts their initial encounter. “I heard a band, they were singing Jolene,” sings Metrano. It sounds like Dean Wareham’s US dream-poppers Luna doing alt-country and has a touch of Mercury Rev circa ‘Deserter’s Songs’ – cinematic, lush and moody, with atmospheric pedal steel over a slow, laidback and soulful groove. There’s a similar vibe to ‘The Moon Last Night Is Gone Today’, which tackles grief and was written for Metrano’s late father.
First single, ‘I’m A YouTube Series, You’re Prestige TV’, lightens the mood – although it deals with a failed relationship – “I know that there will never be a you and me. We are just too different, I think that’s plain to see” – it’s highly loveable, twangy country-pop, with a wry wit.
‘All Dogs Go To Heaven’ is an ode to the power of music and how it lives on long after we’ve shuffled off this mortal coil – “In these stacks of vinyl I’ve got everything I need. The words of David Berman, and the gospel of Lou Reed” – and the superb, rolling country-rock of ‘A Civil War On Saturday Night’ is a duet with Geneviève Beaudoin, of the band Dead Gowns, which recalls some of Nancy and Lee’s lighter moments. Sadly it only lasts for two minutes.
You’re never quite sure where this intriguing album is going to head next – things suddenly get deep down and dirty on the unexpected chicken-scratch funk of instrumental studio jam, ‘Ellie Bean Strut’, while ‘Watching Reruns Of Our Love’ is a sad lament, which name-checks Bonnie and Clyde, and Johnny Cash and June Carter, and has three-way harmonies by Metrano, Earl and Beaudoin.
Final song, the swaggering and rousing, ‘We’ll Always Have The Night’, sounds like a drinking anthem that’s best heard in a barroom in the early hours of the morning, sung by a bunch of lost and lonely souls shortly before they head outside into the darkness.
Thank God Tiger Saw and Dylan Earl & The Reasons Why met – may they always have each other and continue to make albums as great as this one.