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Sharing a Gibson

October 21, 2008

When I first saw a live show by Lambchop, self-described as “Nashville’s most fucked-up country band”, they won me over in an instant.  Kurt Wagner’s testicular growl filled the room and his band’s slow-burn take on country pop was nothing less than incandescent.

After watching them hypnotise a room, Lambchop’s recorded output sounded a little bit flat.  They haven’t been helped by a couple of albums that were a bit same-ish, especially 2006’s Damaged.  They’re pretty songs, but they didn’t reach out of the stereo and force you to pay attention.

The best thing about their new album, OH (ohio), is that it’s the closest thing to their live show I’ve heard in years.  The production is warm and immediate.  The instrumentations are subtly complex, but not so subtle that you miss them on first or second listen.  Wagner is his wry, grouchy best.  It’s like they’re putting on a little show in your living room.

The stand-out track for me is “A Hold Of You”, which shimmers like the best moments of The Clientele and is so full of aching emotion you want to play it again and again until your heart calms down.   The whole album is impressive – perfect for late nights in big cities.  They’ve made a believer out of me once more.

Lambchop – “A Hold Of You”

Lambchop – “Sharing A Gibson With Martin Luther King Jr.”

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