BLACK HATS, THE: Hometown Nobodies: CD

Jul 25, 2006

The undisputedly good news with Against Me! gaining popularity is that the gap between punk and roots country (without it morphing into some sort of assy tag like alt-country or adult contemporary country) is less of a leap. The undisputedly good news about The Black Hats is that they’re unpretentious, play rock-solid, from-the-country (this time, Wisconsin) music that’s both intelligently written and tastefully played. In an alternate universe, like the one of The Blues Brothers, a band like this could play Bob’s Country Bunker to ten-gallon hat wearers, amped-up truck drivers, and road-weary punkers. They could all join, arm in arm, while smashing empty beer bottles against the chicken wire in joy. That’s a world I’d like to live in. Since that probably won’t ever happen, I’ll just sit back and savor my two favorite tunes: the title track and “Picture,” that get me thinking that, with so very slight a tweak here and there, could both fit right into the Replacements catalog

 –todd (The Black Hats)

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