It’s safe to say that anyone who’s not a 20-something, isn’t really going to get what today’s mainstream country is all about. Us old school souls are lost amongst the fury of pop laden processed beats and have all but worn out our old cassettes listening to the good ole country we remember. That’s exactly why MACEO, and their brand-new album BoomTown, is such a breath of fresh air.
Led by Marty Brown, album opener “Fit To Be Tied” sings us through a list of everything he is – an outlaw, rebel, rocker, lover, fighter, etc. – but it also instantly gives you the gritty guitars that define their sound as they transport you back a decade to when country still held onto elements of its rich past. Pressing forward, you’re wrapped into their pure country/southern rock infused style whether it’s on the slower paced “Lessons In Lonely,” the harmonica driven, sway-a-long with groove of “Barbwire and Cornfields,” or “Backwards Ball Cap Beer Drinking Kind of Crowd,” a rowdy anthem in the vein of Confederate Railroad that’s built for the honky-tonk dancehall crowd with its boot kickin’ two steppin’ rhythm.
Where this album pushes from good to great, though, is in MACEO’s ability to craft stories within their lyrics that paint vivid pictures; from the tug at your heartstring stories of “Colorado Crazy” and “Overalls,” to “Old Legends,” a song that sounds like it was plucked out of a bin of lost Hank Jr. recordings and strikes a nostalgic chord as it sings of Hank, John Wayne, etc. As the album winds to a close, they perfectly bookend it with “Memphis Delta Blues” by leaning against a similar gritty guitar like we heard when the album opened with “Fit To Be Tied.” Memorable hooks, catchy melodies, and songs that have something to say define who MACEO is as a band and what BoomTown is as an album. Though there is an unmistakable throwback feel to this, it also never sounds dated or out of touch, but rather offers us a refreshing listen from a group that gets what country music is and still needs to sound like!
By: Jeffrey Kurtis (Formerly OneStopCountry.com)