The Fire Marshals of Bethlehem

The World From the Back Seat (n / a)

Texas Platters

The Fire Marshals of Bethlehem

The World From the Back Seat

Boasting a veteran local lineup of assorted Wannabes, WayOuts, and Diamond Smugglers, the second Fire Marshals of Bethlehem album brings beery light pop to bear on a wistful set of songs united in the theme of transition. Seconds into homesick opener "Lawrence," Jenny Smith's violin sets the quintet's distinctive tone, which expands upon pop purity with swashes of Americana, folk, and country. Julie Lowery's plaintive vocals cinch the deal as the elegiac "Everywhere" wades into the thicket of left-behind melancholia and "State Fair" recasts Lou Reed's "Perfect Day" under the unblinking eyes of Big Tex. Drummer David Mider throws his rough-hewn voice into the ring with the softly foreboding "Quiet in Here" and the deceptively upbeat closer, "Molly's Disappointed." Despite all the breaking up, growing old, and moving on, Back Seat's memorable melodies transform life's bitter pills into resilient instruments of commiseration.

***

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
... And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead
X: The Godless Void and Other Stories (Record Review)

Alejandra Ramirez, Feb. 21, 2020

Texas Platters
Daniel Johnston
Chicago 2017 (Record Review)

Raoul Hernandez, Feb. 21, 2020

More by Greg Beets
Our Music Critics Pick Their Top 10 Austin Albums of 2018
Our Music Critics Pick Their Top 10 Austin Albums of 2018
80 local picks from Molly Burch to Brownout

Dec. 28, 2018

Our Music Critics Pick Their Top 10 Austin Albums of 2018
Our Music Critics Pick Their Top 10 Austin Albums of 2018
80 local picks from Molly Burch to Brownout

Dec. 28, 2018

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

The Fire Marshals of Bethlehem

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle