Trainwreck Riders: The Perch

trainwreckriders_theperchCowpunk revival: punk rock meets country waltz

This San Francisco trio travels the same circles as lo-fi minimalists Two Gallants, but the Riders country leanings take them closer to 1980s bands like Blood on the Saddle, Rank and File, the Meat Puppets, and Replacements. The album opens with thrashing rhythm guitar and drums, but by track two the throbbing bass is accompanied by melodically picked hooks. By track three the vocals take on a country twang, and on track four there’s lap steel. The band-written songs are filled with heartbreaks that won’t let go, frustrated misunderstandings, and late-night drunks, and the music is rendered as strung-out ballads, cowpunk waltzes and amped-up two-steps. Most of the songs stare into unfading memories of past emotional train wrecks, and even when there’s an inkling of change, such as the wished-for dissolution of “Livin’ Daylight,” it’s viewed with trepidation. The band retains their guitar, bass and drums punk-rock urgency even as guests add dobro, fiddle and accordion, and the high edginess of Pete Frauenfelder’s vocals makes the lamentation all the more powerful. [©2009 hyperbolium dot com]

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