Chris Gates & Gatesville
Welcome to Gatesville (Anodyne Music)
Reviewed by Marc Savlov, Fri., Oct. 1, 2010
Chris Gates & GatesvilleWelcome to Gatesville (Anodyne Music)
Like some dusty brown jug of granddad's moonshine found hidden away in a country house that, nevertheless, once uncorked, kicks and hollers and sears all the way down your parched gullet, Austin punk foundation Chris Gates is still capable of laying you out flat at lower volume and tempos. It's not just that Gates, aided and abetted by the Southern-fried fretwork of Tony Redman and the one-two-KO sucker punch of bassliner Scott Womack and Paul Soliz's crackle-snap drumming, bear-hugs the boogie-woogie tropes of southbound beer drinkers and honky-tonk hell-raisers ("Devil's on My Trail" should come with a "Danger: Flammable Material" warning attached). It's that the local survivor finally sounds like a man at peace with his past, musical and otherwise. Anthemic opener "Those Were the Days" forsakes easy nostalgia for cutting commentary on the simple pleasures of long-gone summers and hometown maturation, while the roadhouse ache of "Forever Came Today" showcases Gates' bloodied but unbowed sandpaper rasp of a voice. Welcome to Gatesville's standout track is a countrified recording of its namesake's 1990s Geffen Records rauncher Junkyard's bloozey hit "Simple Man," reborn as a poignant paean to Gates today, a little older, presumably wiser, but still an entirely fun, fun, fun slab of clean/sober city limits rock & roll.