Earlier this year, Dead Confederate exploded onto the music scene with a blistering self-titled EP that capitalized on the pain and growl of the kind of country-rock perfected by the Drive-By Truckers, but instead of telling gritty stories, the songs focused on love, loss, and heartbreak. The Athens, Georgia, band has now released their official debut, which features a few songs from the EP, but mostly contains all-new material. It starts off with the blistering Heavy Petting, during which Hardy Morris sounds like he’s been crying and drinking all night, raspy and violent, and the cymbals never stop crashing. (Other than at the quiet break around 3:45 minutes in.) Other standouts include the blistering, “All The Angels,” with ends with extended feedback, a la Neil Young. And the 11-minute opus, “Flesh Colored Canvas,” which crashes through grungy psychedelia and sounds like a transcendent live tune. I had to listen to it three times in a row, because there’s so much piled into it.

There’s a bunch of bands using this kind of sound nowadays (The Whigs and Back Yard Tire Fire come to mind, as does Jason Isbell’s new solo work and, to a lesser extent, My Morning Jacket), but Dead Confederate are unique among them, largely because they have several extended jam tunes—kind of like a raw, primal, and darker version of The Grateful Dead. Maybe it’s because the album was recorded in the same Austin, Texas, studio where Tobe Hooper recorded the sound effects for The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

Sadly, the band’s label (TAO Records) is a little anal about posting tunes and they only want to release “The Rat.” It’s a great tune, and it’s not even the best on the record, but everyone else is posting it, too. So you’ll have to take my word for it that this is an album worth your time and money.

The Rat

(Bonus MPfrees after the tourdates)

09.18.08 ¬ The Hummingbird ¬ Macon, GA
09.19.08 ¬ 40 Watt ¬ Athens, GA
09.20.08 ¬ The Earl ¬ Atlanta, GA
09.23.08 ¬ JJ’s Bohemia ¬ Chattanooga, TN
09.24.08 ¬ The Bottletree ¬ Birmingham, AL
09.25.08 ¬ Sticky Fingerz ¬ Little Rock, AR
09.26.08 ¬ Emo’s ¬ Austin, TX
09.27.08 ¬ The Cavern ¬ Dallas, TX
09.29.08 ¬ The Bluebird ¬ St. Louis, MO
09.30.08 – Jackpot Music Hall – Lawrence, KS
10.01.08 ¬ The Waiting Room ¬ Omaha, NE
10.02.08 ¬ The Annex ¬ Madison, WI
10.03.08 ¬ Mo’s Irish Pub ¬ Milwaukee, WI
10.04.08 ¬ Schubas ¬ Chicago, IL
10.07.08 ¬ TT the Bears ¬ Cambridge, MA
10.09.09 ¬ Mercury Lounge ¬ New York, NY
10.10.08 ¬ Union Hall ¬ Brooklyn, NY
10.14.08 ¬ Cat’s Cradle ¬ Carrboro, NC
10.16.08 ¬ Exit/In ¬ Nashville, TN
10.17.08 ¬ Proud Larry’s ¬ Oxford, MS
10.25.08 ¬ Voodoo Experience ¬ New Orleans, LA

Bonus Covers:

Moonlight Mile-Drive-By Truckers

Instant Karma-The Whigs

Kids Are Alright-The Whigs

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