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Whiskey Myers (from Tornillo available on Wiggy Thump Records/Thirty Tigers) (by Lee Zimmerman)
Midway through their new album, Tornillo, Whiskey Myer share a song titled “Whole World Gone Crazy”, a narrative that speaks of the political divide that’s dragged America down a rabbit hole strewn with distrust and discord:
‘I find myself runnin’ down yonder to the corner store
Just a minding my business tryin’ to get me some smoke
My guy talkin’ politicky telling me to take a stand
Agree to disagree wasn’t in the cards at hand
Said are ya left or right or fickle
‘Cause there ain’t no play in the middle
Now boy, which route is this gonna be?’
It’s not that they’ve ever shied away from seizing the conflict head-on. Over the course of their six albums, Whiskey Myers has always succeeded in combining a certain Alt Country swagger with a decidedly defiant persona. It’s appropriate then that this selection of songs is kickstarted by “John Wayne”, a track that tempers its down-home attitude with a raucous racket more befitting Led Zeppelin, Lynyrd Skynyrd, or AC/DC than a bunch of down-home denizens. To be sure, that southern sensibility remains intact throughout, but it’s also apparent that they’re not about to acquiesce to anyone’s expectations.
Consequently, the new album is underscored by a solid stomp and an utter defiance. It’s an attitude that’s typified by “Antioch”, a song which asserts a determination to pursue whatever possibilities they may encounter, the devil be damned. In this particular case, they attribute that reckless resolve to paternal upbringing, as shared in no uncertain terms:
‘I hate him so much even though I bear his name
I can’t take him right now but one day that’s gonna change
When I get grown
‘Cause Mama don’t cry when Daddy’s gone …’
“Feet’s” further defines their wayward stance, a road song that sums up that hard-living persona with an equally gritty intransigence. Likewise, “The Wolf” makes it clear they’re not about to back down, even when the odds might advise them to do otherwise. The same can be said of the rocking revelry shared throughout “Mission to Mars” and “Bad Medicine”. On the other hand, the closing number, “Heart of Stone”, finds a new realization, that is, that change is best served when it’s gleaned from the inside out.
To be sure, that rough and tumble persona isn’t contingent on only a handful of songs. Whiskey Myers is a no-nonsense bunch, rebels that mix attitude and aptitude, with or without a cause. There’s little nuance found in these narratives, but no matter. Tornillo is tempestuous, a solid reflection of both turbulence and tenacity. (By Lee Zimmerman)
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