Going Down in History
Reviewed by: Adelie Salagnac
A quite vague and unclear term that can refer to a large array of music styles, alt-country is affectionately defined as “any country music that is liked by someone who is not a ‘country music fan’” by the urban dictionary. A definition that is then completed by “country music for non-rednecks”… Don’t believe a word they say. Finding its roots with the work of Gram Parsons, Uncle Tupelo, Ryan Adams or Drive-By Truckers, back in the day, the genre has some bright days ahead; the Waco Brothers are living proof.
Five-piece band from Chicago, the Wacos genially blend elements of garage punk and southern country, coming up with a formula that works great – and that always had. Formed more than 20 years ago, the Waco Brothers demonstrate a surprising and impressive longevity. With Going Down in History, the band’s first proper studio record since 2005, more than a decade ago, the Waco Brothers’ talent hasn’t faded and their sound quality hasn’t suffered one bit.
Produced by Mike Hagler, and released via Bloodshot Records, Going Down in History includes eight extremely well-crafted original songs and two brilliant covers, including “All or Nothing”, by the Small Faces, recorded as an homage to Ian McLagan, the band’s keyboardist who passed away a couple of years ago.
Going Down in History’s biggest strength to me is probably its ability to capture the raw energy and debauchery of the band’s disorderly, rowdy live shows. With clanging guitars, growling vocals and a discordant, raucous rhythm, the Wacos’ tunes are raw, unpolished and muscular, very much like as if you were attending your favorite local, run down pub’s live music night.
Forever loud and nasty, the Wacos Brothers provide a triumphant record, showcasing the essence of the band, their rock n’ roll attitude and punk lifestyle. With daring lyrics, the band has something to say and says it loud.
This album is everything the fans can hope for, and everything that I was expecting from a Waco Brothers’ release. They are still some of the best in the genre; they definitely know how to make you spend a hell of a great time, and no one does it better. Going Down in History for sure will make history.