- Big Shiny Cars
Peden, CSO Staff Journalist
“must watch” country band of 2006 just might be Pinmonkey.
Their new album, Big Shiny Cars (Back Porch Records), hits the
shelves soon. Revamped and energized -- former members Chad
Jeffers and Rick Schell having moved on making room for new
Monkey member and former Steve Earl Duke Mike McAdam -- the band
has pulled variety and a rich flavoring of alt-soaked influence
into this 11 tracker.
a distinctive sound border hopping with traditional
inspirations, alternative rock edginess and keen lyrical savvy,
the album is commercial without total surrender. There’s
enough grit in the mix to please those who prefer their music
raw and with attitude. And all from a band that not only draws
their own line in the Nashville sand, but has the fans to
support the plan. Their loyal and growing fan base – warmly
known as “Pinmonkey Junkies” (a term given by journalist
Robert Oermann) – has been a vocal and visible support since
the band hit radio interest with 2002’s “Barbed Wire And
years have seen solid touring, which has had the boys out with
among others Alan Jackson and Brad Paisley. There’s also been
a liberal sprinkling of CMT exposure, a line-up change and the
signing to a new label. Phew! It’s the stuff of a country
song. Or a new album.
with “That Train Don’t Run By Here No More”, written by
Matraca Berg and Gary Nicholson, the song is, beyond its rocky
and progressive vibe, a sad and mournful look at the losing hand
of love. Lead vocalist Michael Reynolds doesn’t wring or whine
the emotion here; but, rather, brings a pulse to a tune that
captures the misery of lonely and alone. “Down” comes
handled in a similar vein. Dolly Parton showcases one of
her major assets with a well-penned tune of loss, with
self-reliance as the guidepost back.
to this album. Crank the volume. Tune in. For Pinmonkey – they
took their band name from an 1995 episode of The Simpsons -- are
not road weary cowboys who play now on the success of an
acclaimed self-titled and critically applauded debut album. And,
they’re out there trading on an ACM nomination for Best New
Group of 2003 – no, these guys play because they love what
they do. And what they do, they do well.
strong point of this album is in the content. The emotional and
soulful thread of losing and hurt peppers the disc. The easy
guitar chords played out on “Coldest Fire In Town” belie a
much stronger take on the strain of leaving. With lyrics that
tell:” What once was paradise/has slowly turned to ice/ and it
won’t be long before this flame burns out/ we both know we
have the coldest fire in town,” is a truth many live behind
deceptive family smiles.
Shiny Cars” is a hard-nosed and cutting look at reality and
envy. Penned by Davis Raines, it comes with all the mood of cold
atmosphere, hard character and personal probing. They’re
elements Raines explains well. Those who remember Big Shiny Cars
–Raine’s debut album of 1998, where he offered tracks like
“Working Homicide”, “Limestone Chain” and "Last
Hard Man in Elmore County" -- will know it’s a winner
from this former Captain of the Guards who once managed the
“Death Row” cells in an Alabama prison. Other standout
tracks include the expressive Bruce Robison-penned
“Wrapped”. The track stands tall with other heart-tuggers
like front man Reynolds’ penned tale of hard love on “Living
Proof”. There’s also ponderous self-discovery on “Can’t
Have A Hand On Me”.
blurb on the album sleeve offers a revealing take on the boys.
Labeled as critically acclaimed and a fireball band, the tag is
on the money. The liner also suggests Pinmonkey come poised to
become the very definition of American-born music. It’s a big
claim, sure, but it comes in truthful wrapping. Innovative, raw
and ragged, all with a dash of commercial pride and polish;
these guys – Michael Reynolds, Michael Jeffers, Mike Crouch and Mike McAdam – offer something here that keenly and clearly
marks them. It brands BSC as a “must-have” album, and it
also brands Pinmonkey as a “must-watch” band in 2006.
album’s released on March 7.
Baby It's You song list:
To purchase the CD online just click on the album
cover on the left.
1: Train Don’t Run By Here No More
3: Coldest Fire In Town
4: Fallin’ All The Time
5: Mountain Song
6: Shady Grove
7. Cant Have A Hand On Me
8. Living Proof
10. Big Shiny Cars
11. Love Sometimes
- Official Site
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