Better Than This

Checkered Past

If you took the members from R.E.M., made them listen to Garth Brooks for a while, and then let them loose to rock, you’d have Hadacol. Although both brothers Fred and Greg Wickham trade off lead vocal responsibility, both sound eerily like Michael Stipe. Their backup vocalization style and rhythm guitar style is so similar to the Athens group that, with the exception of a few tunes that are distinctly Hadacol, you might think R.E.M. put out a country-themed album.

The album starts off innocently enough, with a light and airy mandolin strumming along in the title-track, “Better Than This,” but less than half a minute into it, Hadacol tosses in their distinctive Nashville influence, and the album never once stops for a break. Some of the songs are slower and more balladesque, but the large majority of the album is plain old hoe-down country rock. Their music isn’t so painfully country that it’s intolerable for anyone not into the straw-chewing genre, but it’s not subtle enough to be enjoyed by anyone who can’t appreciate Shania Twain either. However, if you’re an R.E.M. and country fan, then Better Than This is your ticket.

Checkered Past Records, 1456 North Dayton, Suite 295, Chicago, IL 60622

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Recently on Ink 19...

  • Nala Sinephro
    Nala Sinephro

    Space 1.8 (Warp Records). Review by Bob Pomeroy.

  • Looped

    A fading film star still can turn up the heat in this outrageous comedy.

  • The Book of Merman
    The Book of Merman

    A parody musical about a parody musical about a parody religion.

  • Flood Twin
    Flood Twin

    Flood Twin. Review by Bob Pomeroy.

  • Los Lobos
    Los Lobos

    Native Sons (New West). Review by Julius C. Lacking.

  • Adam Bloom
    Adam Bloom

    Sugar Sweet (Indie). Review by Christopher Long.

  • Alonso Ruizpalacios
    Alonso Ruizpalacios

    Generoso speaks with director Alonso Ruizpalacios, whose dynamic new feature, A Cop Movie, utilizes a unique and effective hybrid documentary style to examine police corruption in and around Mexico City. A Cop Movie was the winner of the Silver Bear for Outstanding Artistic Contribution at the 2021 Berlin Film Festival.

  • Sarah McQuaid
    Sarah McQuaid

    The St. Buryan Sessions (Shovel and a Spade Records). Review by Bob Pomeroy.

  • Hearty Har
    Hearty Har

    Radio Astro (BMG). Review by Julius C. Lacking.

  • Junkwraith

    A young woman abandons a promising skating career only to be chased by her inner demons.

From the Archives