Reckless Kelly

Texas Platters

Phases and Stages

Reckless Kelly

Under the Table & Above the Sun (Sugar Hill) Austin's Reckless Kelly has long received a bad rap, deservedly or not, as darlings of the Texas frat-boy set, as vapid as Coors Light and just as easy to swallow. Under the Table, however, finds a band that's starting to sound a lot more mature and serious. The Braun brothers have a weariness to their delivery that sounds more like Son Volt than Cross Canadian Ragweed or earlier Reckless Kelly; check out "Everybody," a lament for a lost girl with the pivotal line, "Everybody looks like you. ..." "Vancouver," "Desolation Angels," and "I Saw It Coming" all have plenty of texture to them, layers of acoustic and fat electric guitar lines and dead-on harmonies. The only drawback to the songs on this major indie debut is an occasional lack of lyrical depth, but even at that, the band has come a long way. That's the kind of thing that comes with time, years of weighing hope in one hand and experience in the other. There's still plenty of exuberance among the more somber songs, like "Let's Just Fall," a short rocker that kicks off with lyrics in the first bars, and "Nobody's Girl," complete with a rumbling, deep 'n' twangy baritone guitar. "Mersey Beat" introduces what has to be the first use of a sitar on a Reckless Kelly album, right alongside sweaty Les Paul lines. Produced by Ray Kennedy (V-Roys, Lucinda Williams, Fleetwood Mac), this is a marked progression in the career of a still-young band. Definitely worth checking out, especially if you have many preconceived notions about Reckless Kelly. (Reckless Kelly celebrates under the table at Stubb's, Friday, May 16.)

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