OLD 97’SOLD 97’S

The Grand Theatre Vol. 2

[New West]

Like the Replacements before them, Old 97’s enjoy navigating that tricky line between brilliant songcraft and ramshackle execution. Following fast on the heels of its 2010 companion disc, Grand Theatre Vol. 2 picks up right where its predecessor left off. Opener “Brown Haired Daughter” sets the tone: Powered by hard-strummed acoustic guitars, a Crazy Horse-style solo and an exhilarating chorus, the tune flings open saloon doors to a bevy of raucously melodic material. “I’m a Trainwreck” spills forth with all the slop-rock fervor its title implies, while “No Simple Machine” sounds like what might have occurred had Syd Barrett popped in for a guest vocal on the Rolling Stones’ Beggars Banquet. Most tellingly, “Perfume” and “You Call It Rain” bring to mind vintage Ray Davies, albeit with an unmistakable Americana vibe. Still, Old 97’s assimilate their myriad influences into a sound all their own. —Russell Hall

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