“Oh, yeah, we’ll be broke, but we’ll never be broken…” The chorus (and frankly the title) of the Harmed Brothers’ song, “Adopt a Highway,” might serve as their epitaph. In a world where mediocre, gentle Americana bands are a dime a dozen, it’s hard to prove yourself and get attention–but this band hasn’t given up. And if there’s any justice, their self-titled full-length will get them in front of fans of bands like Jason Isbell and Ryan Adams…And the attention they deserve.
This is my first time hearing this band, and I understand they rework some older material here. I can’t speak to whether it’s an improvement, but I can say that every cut on this record is strong, well-crafted, and clearly the product of much thought and rehearsal. Much of it tends to the lighter side of Americana, but “Elvis the Lion” could easily be part of the Drive-By Truckers ouvre.
Perhaps best of all, it’s just 10 tracks. In these days of Spotify, it’s good to see a band making a proper record, one designed to be heard from start to finish–not a collection of eye-catching titles, overstuffed with filler and remixes. This is music for people who like to sit with a cold one and watch some passionate musicians play.