Some Part of Something
Devil Duck Records
High-Octane Texas Thrashgrass
Bluegrass has always been fueled on high-octane mandolin fills and fast-fast-faster solos and singalong rave-ups ever since Bill Monroe formed the Blue Grass Boys so many moons ago. So it was inevitable that we would eventually get a melding of bluegrass and punk pop with a heady dose of barroom sensibilities thrown in for good measure. And straight from Austin, Texas we have the punk rock, countrified rave-ups of Whiskey Shivers, which toss a full blown bass and drum rhythm section into the mix along with some tasteful Celtic-inspired fiddle. Add some well-written songs like Cluck Ole’ Hen, No Pity In The Rose City and Liquor, Beer, Wine & Ice, a handful of seasoned musicians and you get a fun, rocking band.
Most of the songs are saloon singalongs and twenty-first century pop with a bluegrass bent, but WS are fine lyricists also. Check out the line “I ain’t looking for trouble, she knows who I am” on the song “Southern Sisyphus,” which also harbors a dandy chorus complete with interweaving banjo and fiddle.
Originally I was ready to dismiss the song “Fuck You” from the title alone, but it actually comes across as one of the better songs on the album. Very well sung, tongue firmly in cheek, yet somehow truly sincere. CeeLo Green tried to do this exact thing nearly a decade ago—and admittedly had a huge hit with it—yet WS one-ups him with deliciously playful background vocals, and then once again with their earnestness. And do I hear a tasty bit of revenge in these words? Way to go guys, you’ve upped the ante yet again!
The two covers on Some Part of Something, namely the Cure’s “Friday I’m in Love” and Daniel Johnston’s epic “True Love (Will Get You in the End),” aren’t throwaways in the least. WS knows well how a good hook will always get a barroom singing along and toasting the band, and treat the material as they would one of their originals.
WS is geared up for a UK tour this summer, be on the lookout for their version of Texas thrashgrass, and prepare to buckle up for the ride!
Courtesy the American Magpie Mr Roy Peak
Released July 20th 2018