Tuesday, October 2, 2012

REVIEW: The Pollies - Where the Lies Begin

When I tell you that The Pollies reside in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, you might assume that they play southern rock.  And while you would be correct to some extent, I caution against listening to Where the Lies Begin with a oh-this-will-be-southern-rock filter.  Yes, there are some southern accents and southern musical flourishes.  But the classic Muscle Shoals sound is only a basic ingredient with which indie rock, soul and folk rock blend into a tangy stew.  The breadth of the arrangements, the accomplished songwriting and heartfelt delivery demand that this album be taken on its own terms as an indie rock statement of a truly accomplished band.  This is great American storytelling that was two years in the making.  Here is the opening track --

The second track, "Something New", displays the band's indie rock bona fides, while "Joe" is a Dylanesque ramble, "Little Birdie" is a rousing hoedown and "Rebel Man" is top notch southern rock.  And track nine, "The Ashes of Burned Out Stars" is a slowburning epic that will take you on a seven plus minute emotional journey.

The Pollies are Jay Burgess (guitar/vocals), Chris James (bass/vocals), Matt Green (guitar/vocals), Daniel Stoddard (steel pedal/keys/effects/vocals), Ben Tanner (keys) and Reed Watson (drums).

One of my favorite songs is "The Well".  The only version I have for you is this live version, which suffers from variable sound quality, but here it is:

The bottom line from this northern boy is that Where the Lies Begin is a southern album that demands your attention.  And you won't regret it.

Twitter ( @thepollies )
This Is American Music (label)

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