Who: The Dexateens formed eight years ago as an amp-blasting, tambourine-smashing mess, but it was only in 2004 that the Tuscaloosa, Alabama outfit -- guitarist/vocalist Elliott McPherson, drummer Craig "Sweet Dog" Pickering, bassist Matt Patton, and guitarists Nikolaus Mimikakis and John Smith -- was pushed by band drill sergeant and former Marine Sweet Dog to get serious.
What's the Deal: Hardwire Healing finds the Dexateens completing their transformation, ditching the hootin' and hollerin' altogether for a full on embrace of their native South; the result is a tradition-indebted country rock sound that distills the frenzied energy of their frantic stage show into a concentrated, twangy broil. Aside from the plucked sadness of the achingly beautiful "Nadine," churning Southern rock dominates, especially when the band weaves a hard-drinking tale with hushed regret: "I'd had settled for a couple, but a couple rounds ago I lost all discipline," McPherson croons on "Downtown."
Fun Fact: Sweet Dog is also called the Midnight Mayor of Tuscaloosa, according to local paper The Tusk.
Now Hear This:
The Dexateens - "Naked Ground" DOWNLOAD MP3
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