Album release: 'Till The Daylight Comes' by Country Lips
Release date: 6 january 2017
More info: Band website
Merging Backwoods-style blues with honky-tonk, boot-stomping rhythms, the 8-piece powerhouse known as Country Lips deliver a sound more associated with the wild, raucous West than the grit and grunge of America’s Emerald city. The spirit of unadulterated, whiskey-fuelled country rings true however, via a rollicking sonic presence and ramshackle charm – and they take their chances siding with musical outlaws like George Jones, Johnny Paycheck, and the Louvin Brothers over the homogenous sparkle of more chart-friendly players.
New album 'Till The Daylight Comes', recorded in Seattle and produced by Randall Dunn (Master Musicians Of Bukkake, Sunn O))), Cave Singers) is an ode to alcohol-ravaged, small-town romance, bringing to mind the destruction and debauchery that bopped and swirled around country-heavyweights like Johnny Cash and Merle Haggard. When playing live, it’s worth noting too, they have an absolute blast with the friendly warning that "in one set you’re likely to see five different lead singers, swapping soloists, all manner of hoots and harmonies, and (at least) one spilled beer."
First up bringing the two-step and shimmy, is driving guitar number, ‘Laundromat’ – the protagonist asking for a woman’s hand-in-marriage amid the washing machines where he works. Here the lucky lady will even get her clothes washed for free if she chooses to take him up on his offer…‘Grizzly Bear Billboard’ meanwhile, gains a lot of impact via its schmaltzy, electric-guitar shimmer, presenting us with a wistful, sexed-up tale of a past destructive romance – as ridiculous in its forthrightness (“we were going at it like a demolition derby”) as it is in its air of regret.
Songs like ‘Reason I’m Drinking’ and ‘Bar Time’ sound lovelorn, telling tales of lonely nights drinking their paycheques at the bar and are heightened by unashamedly forlorn lyrics; ‘The only friends I have are up there on that shelf’ for example. Even so, all are delivered with a tongue-in-cheek self-awareness that can’t help but raise a smile.
'Til The Daylight Comes' often conjures up the well-worn tropes of heartland-Americana – yet these lazy bartenders, low-hanging lights and sweating beer bottles sit dangerously alongside pool cue clashes, cowboy cacophony and kicked-over bar stalls. Leave all notions of modern country behind and come join the Country Lips party now!
Country Lips are:
Austin Jacobsen – bass, Trevor Pendras - electric guitar, vocals, Miles Burnett - drums, vocals, Hamilton Boyce - electric guitar, vocals, Alex Leake - acoustic guitar, vocals, Jonah Byrne – fiddle, Kenny Aramaki – keys and Gus Clark - accordion, mandolin