Lee Bains and the Glory Fires
Don Giovanni Records
This was a nice surprise – the cover of the Tom Robinson Band’s “Motorway” lured me in, then I discover Lee Bains was the singer for the Dexateens, who I remembered capably blending country, garage, punk and psych to create a non-corny Southern roots music.
This EP is a continuation of that search. “2-4-6-8 Motorway” is a catchy, propulsive tune, a joyful ode to the open road, the road that, for a touring band, is now closed. Hear it once and it will be stuck in your head for days.
The three remaining songs are acoustic reworkings of earlier Lee Bains and the Glory Fires songs, and they paint evocative pictures of the South – critiquing the region’s problems but celebrating the ordinary, everyday people. It’s easy to make this stuff corny – deepen your accent a bit and sing sentimentally about Maw-Maw’s iced tea or stock car racing, but it’s harder to create what Lee Bains has done here, create nuanced pictures of the new South, all with a bluesy, swaggering vocalist. The EP did its work, it definitely made me want to check out their previous stuff.