Shovels & Rope – O’ Be Joyful [Album Review]

by Woody on July 31, 2012

I was speaking to Oz the other day and he said that O’ Be Joyfuls’ opening track, Birmingham might be the best opening track of any release this year. That’s a bold statement in a year with so much good music but it would be tough to argue with. The semi-autographical tune that explains how the band came to be – the band being the married duo of Cary Ann Hearst and Michael Trent – sets the tone for one of the better releases of 2012.

They play some blend of raucous Americana that owes as much to The Carter Family as it does punk bands such as The Cramps and X. As they explain in Birmingham, Hearst is a Cumberland daughter and Trent is the Rockamount Cowboy. For the first 1:30 it sounds like a solid alt-country and then it gets jolt of punk energy that is like a shot of adrenaline.

Tickin’ Bomb is a sexy, dirty song full of swagger that has a riff that would fit in on any White Stripes album. Then towards the end, some horns are introduced that have an Exile feel to them. This song is filthy and a real treat.

This album has everything that is good about rock n’ roll. Its nasty, raw and a little bit on the wrong side. There’s no formula and none of the songs sound the same. You want your twang all pretty and nice, go listen to Chesney or that Underwood gal. You want to listen to something that’s going to give you a charge, go buy this. This is one of my favorite albums of the year.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Michael August 7, 2012 at 10:15 pm

Every now and then you guys introduce me to a band I had not heard before and they become major to me. Port O’Brien comes to mind. The Low Anthem. Sharon Van Etten. The Deep Dark Woods. Now people can make fun of me for not knowing about these bands but you have to hear about them for the first time somewhere. I’m pretty excited to try O’ Be Joyful. Thanks, Woody.

Houston Indie August 9, 2012 at 8:38 pm

they have a good sound. look forward to hearing more.

cosmicoldcrowe August 13, 2012 at 4:10 pm

Good stuff.

Michael August 14, 2012 at 4:23 pm

I got the album and it is ALL I LISTENED TO this weekend. Love their sound. Love this album.

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