JASON BANCROFT AND THE WEALTHY BEGGARS: This Machine: CD

The acoustic punk rock retirement plan seems a comfortable fit for Houston pickers Jason Bancroft And The Wealthy Beggars. Compared readily to Woody Guthrie and Billy Bragg, Bancroft’s vocals will remind most punks more of post-Rumbleseat, pre-Springsteen Chuck Ragan. The subject matter on their debutThis Machine fulfills every quota for this kind of record, celebrating blue-collar pride and introspective storytelling, but the band’s influences and themes often seem too on the nose, especially on “Move On Woody, Move On” and their gruff cover of “I’ll Fly Away.” The Wealthy Beggars are undeniably talented, and the purity of their mission will endear them to many, but those reeling from genre oversaturation may be left wondering what sets them apart from the pack. 

 –Kelley O’Death (Vinal Edge, [email protected], vinaledge.com / Cactus Music, cactusmusictx.com)