Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires “Youth Detention”
This is a band that has grown on us over a succession of releases. We liked “There Is A Bomb In Gilead” but then REALLY liked “Deconstructed” which saw the band’s sound develop a bit more. So the question is, have they managed to take things a step further on this latest release?
Opener “Breaking It Down” would definitely suggest that is most certainly the case. They’ve retained the raucous country/Americana sound seen on their previous releases. It’s a sound that will appeal to fans of great bands like Two Cow Garage or Lucero.
However, this release also sees them shifting into slightly wider territory. Songs like “Sweet Disorder” and “White Wash” see them bringing an almost power pop crunch feel to their sound. It makes them more catchy and appealing. Along with “I Can Change” and “Had To Laugh” it results in a sound that is reminiscent of The Replacements. Things reach a particular peak with the impossible to resist melody of “Nail My Feet Down To The Southside Of Town ”.
Things go even further on “Good Old Boy” and “Tongues Of Flame” which have a scuzzy, garage punk feel to them. “Underneath The Sheets Of White Noise” has the same undercurrent of punk angst, but delivered in a laid back style, that we associate with The Hold Steady.
There’s no need for fans of their previous work to panic though, “Black & White Boys” is a triumphant song with a countrified soul swagger to it. Whilst “I Hear God” and “Save My Life” are songs blessed with plenty of guitar and a hard rocking Americana sound. Despite its long winded title, “Commencement Address for the Deindustrialized Dispersion” is a relatively simple but finely delivered rock n roller.
At 17 tracks, this is something of an epic release. However, the band have taken the opportunity to really push themselves. They’ve produced a diverse and engaging album. It takes you on a journey through some classic US rock n roll influences, from country to garage to punk. Fair play to them, they have indeed managed to take things even further on what is definitely their best release to date.