A band that emphasizes country over alt-, Slimfit’s debut album “Make it Worse” is a fast-paced collection of barnburners, boozy love songs, square-dance punk, and grit. Not the Ryan Adams kind of Americana—more of the Jeff Tweedy/Jay Farrar/Mike Doughty vein, seasoned with twang and honky tonk.
Most of the tunes are barnburners, but a slower,
jauntier country song, “Make It Worse,” is an example of the band’s versatility. But they’re at their best on tunes like “Fight Til You Die,” which is as good as anything the Old 97s ever put out. “Dancin’ Shoes” is another good one—featuring a female vocal and a fiddle—because it’s so different from the rest of the record. There’s a danger with an album like this that every song will start to sound the same, but every time Slimfit threatens to get repetitive, they pull out a surprise like the harmonica-driven, midtempo, “That’s Me,” a lyrically simple song that builds slowly into a fantastic climax.
The key element to Slimfit is energy: Every song is played like a club set closer, and there’s not a bad song on the record. This could be one of the most impressive debuts I’ve heard this year.
For fans of: Uncle Tupelo, Steve Earle, The Replacements, Tom Petty.
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