Yet another winner from a band too large to realistically consider touring outside of their home of Nashville. The mood created here by Kurt Wagner and his country orchestra resembles that of a past era, which I only catch glimmers of in really old black and white TV shows and my grandparents’ eyes. Wagner gets a little excited on Thriller while taking a stab at punk rock (not sure he liked being equated to the Sex Pistols of country music) and even pipes up a bit here, emerging for a few minutes from his subdued story-telling narrator on Valium persona to sing a pop song or two. Later on, he even leads his small army of musicians on an extended foray into feedback and drone. Merge Records, Box 1235, Chapel Hill, NC 27514

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