Goodbye Country (Monofonus)
Reviewed by Audra Schroeder, Fri., Oct. 31, 2008
Golden BoysGoodbye Country (Monofonus)
Former Tav Falco drummer Ross Johnson pays the Golden Boys quite the compliment in the liner notes of Goodbye Country, reminiscing about seeing them play a Memphis club in "advanced states of intoxication. ... They were and are uncaring in the best sense of the word." He nails the Boys live, but their albums have always been a bit more composed. While this third LP lacks the loose-limbed, blackout-drunk ferocity of 2007's Whiskey Flower, the local quintet broadens its horizons, from the feel-good pop-organ of opener "Mine Like a Diamond" to 1960s psychedelic ("The Box") and growled gothic country ("Wrong and Right"). The woozy strum of "Pharmacy" bears the self-medicated slur of a true Golden Boys song midalbum, and the last half slowly makes its way to its knees, until the pass-the-bottle, tear-in-your-beer torch song "Shell of Some Guy." With the addition of horns and accordions, Goodbye Country's a bit of a hodgepodge, but trampling on acceptable music standards is seldom a bad direction.