Chris Montgomery You Know You Want It (Big Pants)
Reviewed by Kate X Messer, Fri., Feb. 4, 2000
You Know You Want It (Big Pants)What a cocky title for such an engaging debut. It reflects nothing of the bright rays of shuffley slide guitar optimism peeking through the Southern murk of such timeless American themes as losing one's baby to big wheels on the highway and getting her back on a train. No, the unnecessary bravado of the title only provides misdirection for such a tender album, thinly disguising the real pain and loneliness down below. Like stripping layers of fading wallpaper and lead off a treasure of pristine shiplap, good music reveals itself in glimpses. Chris Montgomery was the brooding third of Aunt Beanie's First Prize Beets, a local trio of charming harmony drippers who, after earning a herd of loyal fans, disappeared leaving a wake of wondering. Karen went on to work with Dale Watson and has her own merry band of Crystal Pistols, and Johnny paints a lot but hasn't played in years. Now comes Chris with his dark, idealistic debut that sparks with the promise of that band and even carries on the tradition with some Beanie favorites ("Big Bad Love," "The Special Streamline," etc. ...), albeit without those trademarked heavenly harmonies. Touching lyrics wrapped in wise old cynicism, tinny National Resonating that'd make Robert Johnson cry, and enough Austin cred (Toni Price sings back-up, "Scrappy" Jud produces, etc.) to wrap it up to go. Yeah, we want it -- bad.