Posts Tagged ‘Wide Swing Tremolo’

Wide Swing Tremolo

Following the break-up of Americana standard-bearers Uncle Tupelo, singer-songwriter Jay Farrar and drummer Mike Heidorn recruited brothers Dave and Jim Boquist to form a new group – Son Volt – and signed to Warner Bros. The band’s third collection for the label, “Wide Swing Tremolo”, finds them leaning more toward the alternative side of alt-country,

From the vital drive of the opener with its distorted longing and its strained angst to the acoustic pulse of later tracks make this album a landmark in the now overpopulated landscape of country rock. The horror and fear that is all over “Jodel” gives way to the religious zealotry of Medicine Hat but redemption is found on the second half with the straight take on the country rocker that is Right On Through. If Question doesn’t get your foot tapping whilst making your head spin then you haven’t converted to the gospel of country and let me tell you, you’re missing out. Every generation an album arrives that signals a new direction and those who don’t see it will be left behind.

With energetic guitar rockers like “Straightface” and “Medicine Hat” practically jumping out of the speakers, even if Farrar’s enigmatic lyrics sometimes provide dark undercurrents. WIDE SWING TREMOLO was the final studio album from Son Volt’s original line-up, and we’ll crank it up now to celebrate the set’s 20th anniversary.

Wide Swing Tremolo is a wide-open, rocking album with precious little of the overt country influences found on previous Son Volt works. Instead, this album is driven by R.E.M.-like arpeggio guitar riffs and muscular, warm rhythms. It’s a strong album.

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