A Texas band with a country leaning isn’t necessarily the type of thing we would normally go for. But we are promised that Vandoliers offer up a more defiant punk flavoured country sound. The fact that this is released on the brilliant Bloodshot Records label is also a sign that the album deserves to be checked out.
When we first heard tracks like “Miles and Miles” and “Troublemaker” we thought that Vandoliers might be a bit too ‘country and western’ for our tastes. Normally, any sign of a fiddle/violin (whichever is on this) and we are heading for the stop button! However, the band just seem to offer something a bit more than that lazy categorisation. Those songs just have an additional ‘hook’ to them and really catch your ears. There’s a sense that this is country music being delivered by a rock band with a bit of punk attitude. Indeed, you’ll find it really hard to ignore the pull of the melody on “All On Black”
Our enthusiasm may also be linked to the fact that we are eagerly anticipating the Sons Of Anarchy spin off Mayans MC. Certainly, with the almost Mariachi feel to songs like “Fallen Again” and “Bottom Dollar Boy” you could imagine the Vandoliers appearing on the soundtrack. Or maybe it’s just that tracks like “Sixteen Years” and “Nowhere Fast” have an irresistible sense of exuberance to them. Whilst “Cigarettes In The Rain” even makes us non-smokers crave a smoke and shot of bourbon.
This album is a great reminder that sometimes you really need to give an album a chance. It also shows the beauty of giving different styles of music a try. This is a great rootsy, country punk album. It will set your mind wandering and dreaming of warmer climates which is no bad thing during a cold, wet UK winter!