Diesel-powered country that ploughs a straight furrow
As the press release says, this is an album best listened to with a cold beer in your hand at the end of a long hard day; or, as in my case, on the car stereo with the sun beating down during a long motorway journey.
Victory & Ruins gets off to a great start with singer Ethan Anderson singing, “Hello, it’s good to see you all again,” on “Hello”. Perhaps it’s just me that gets the joke, but it’s a clever way to catch the listeners attention and it’s a damn fine country rocker, too.
I love the jangly guitar intro to “2 AM Beauty Queen” and the sentiment in the lyrics will resonate with a lot of people who think they can find romance in a bottle or two. We’ve all been there, haven’t we?
I’m prone to not reading the accompanying prose from a PR person before listening, so the female country singer on the slow and moody “The Hard Way” grabbed my attention like an electric shock, especially as I should recognise Zoe Muth by now. Shame on me; and the only complaint is I’d like to have heard her part stretched out a bit more.
“Labour in Vain” is a good old Southern country rock stomp-along, worthy of the Drive-By Truckers or the Blasters. It has already been put into a drive-time playlist on my iPod.
Combine all that is good in alt-country–throaty voice, twang guitars, cool slide, meaty harmonica, punchy drums and a melody that would get even me onto the dance floor–and you have “Flexed Arm Hang,” which has been added to the very same playlist.
The album ends with the beautiful “Bring Something Back,” which could easily be an outtake from Hotel California or Poco’sRose of Cimarron. Trust me, I don’t say that lightly, as they are two of my favourite ever LP’s.
Well, what more can I say? There’s nothing new here, but if you are needing a fix of down-home country rock or quality 50% proof alt-country, I can heartily recommend Massey Ferguson. I can’t wait to see them at Maverick Festival later this Summer.
Released June 23rd 2014 UK
Released April 2013 USA