Sarah Shook and the Disarmers (from the album Years available on Bloodshot Records)
When Sarah Shook clearly states ‘I need this shit like I need another hole in my head’, she is not speaking about the brand of Country Punk Rock’n’Roll that she brands on her songs. The line is from “New Ways to Fail” on the recent release from Sarah Shook and the Disarmers, Years, and the tale is a template for tracks that look at love in a rear-view mirror, happier with the open highway ahead as they toss a middle finger to the past. Sarah Shook’s high and lonesome vocals ride roughshod over a crew of Outlaw Country stories. Summing up the recording in an elevator pitch, Sarah Shook says of Years ‘this record is about finding a way. A way through exhaustion, depression, betrayal, hangover after hangover, upper after downer after upper, fight after never-ending fight. It's about picking yourself up and dusting yourself off after years of being trampled and beaten down, jutting your chin out, head high, after they've done their worst, and saying, "still here”’.
Her words form the foundation for true Country songs, the emotion and passion in equal measure to real life circumstances, the delivery of Sarah Shook and the Disarmers a sharp stick in the eye of a memory. Years turns a page in the life of Sarah Shook and the Disarmers when “Good as Gold” dares love to cross a line, wonders just how far to go with “What It Takes”, and shuffles in on a dry desert breeze claiming “The Bottle Never Lets Me Down”. The band leave their Chapel Hill, North Carolina home turf beginning this spring to tour Years to the world. The album remorsefully looks back in the title track as Sarah Shook and the Disarmers pound out a beat to hammer “Lesson” into a word of advice, lazily sway as they sink into “Heartache in Hell”, and pen an ‘I’m sorry’ note onto a Country Rock’n’Roll rhythm with “Damned If I Do, Damned If I Don’t”.
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