Austin Collins & the Rainbirds
Reviewed by Jim Caligiuri, Fri., March 12, 2010
Austin Collins & the RainbirdsWrong Control
Austin Collins has drawn comparisons to alt.country stalwarts Slobberbone and Uncle Tupelo, but on his third disc, Wrong Control, the young singer-songwriter reaches even further back, to the glory days of early R.E.M. and the Replacements. Given the album's all-American garage thump and jangle with barely a hint of twang, producer Will Johnson (Centro-matic, Monsters of Folk) might just have had something to do with the way these songs jump at you. Of course it's really down to Collins & the Rainbirds – guitarist Dylan McDougall and drummer/bassist/pianist Craig Bagby – whose compositions swagger, crunch, and clatter the way the best roots-rock does. With titles like "Care," "Worn," and "Island," the subject matter of Collins' tunes can be murky, and toward the end of the LP, the jangle gets a little repetitive, but the blasting set opener "Just the Same" and pensive yet soaring title track make Wrong Control the right stuff.