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Lou Ford | Alan Freed's Radio (Glitterhouse)
Named after one of literature's most sadistic creations, Jim Thompson's eponymous sheriff in The Killer Inside Me, you would be led to believe that Lou Ford, the band, would exhibit a similar kind of edge. You would be wrong. Hailed as the saviours of alt.country in 1997, when their debut, Sad, But Familiar, a peerless collection of Neil Young / Burritos influenced pop that instantly screamed classic, came out, it's taken them three years to produce the follow up. After several listens, you begin to wonder how on earth they could have spent so long on something that sounds so underdone, so mediocre. The first track, Storz's Bar, rails against the evils of top 40 radio programming, but the chorus of "You're just wasting your time listening to this" soon sheds its irony and begins to ring frighteningly true. Somewhere between the last album and here, Lou Ford have forgotten how to write songs. There are too many tracks composed of just a chorus and a bridge, some vague lyrics, a platitude here and there, creating a sing-a-long feel that begins to pall very quickly. Over the course of the record, there is very little variety, most songs plod along mid-tempo, with choruses repeating, seemingly, ad infinitum. Only Replacement, which sounds like a pastiche of Westerberg, manages to get its feet off the ground and even that collapses soon enough into a mire of lighter-held-aloft-choruses. Is anybody really ready for the Oasis of alt.country?
CWAS #7 - Spring 2001