Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Mudcrutch - (Self Titled) (Reprise, 2008)

Mudcrutch originally began as a rock band from Gainesville, Florida before moving to southern California in the mid-1970's to take their shot at stardom. That never panned out, and then the group broke up, with bassist and singer Tom Petty picking up the pieces of the band for his backup group The Heartbreakers, and going on to pop superstardom. The band reunited in 2007 to record an album which was released this year followed by a tour. While reunion projects can be problematic, this one is quite successful, rooted in Petty's signature rootsy Americana sound while branching out occasionally into pop and country territory. There are some very nice and lyrical character studies on this album, like the devastating "Orphan of the Storm" which looks at the wake of Hurricane Katrina, and the wistful "Lover of the Bayou." Some interesting rockers are available, such as the defiant "Scare Easy" and the trucker's anthem "Six Days on the Road." While there's nothing particularly groundbreaking about the music here, it is a well done consolidation of traditional American rock 'n' roll, drawing from diverse influences and combining them into a cohesive whole.

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