MaryAnn & the Revival Band
Reviewed by Kevin Curtin, Fri., April 6, 2012
MaryAnn & the Revival BandProper
MaryAnn & the Revival Band aren't reviving anything in particular. Their style indicates Southern influences: lonesome pedal steel resonating over a rich mix that incorporates tremolo mandolin leads, acoustic guitars, and slip-note piano. And yet when it's all considered – simmering melodies, upbeat drumming, Marina Hendrix and the gang's dynamic mic-sharing – it amounts to indie rock. Driving opener "I Can't Afford Your Company" erupts into a crowded coda of horns and strings. On "Who Could Ever Fall in Love?," Hendrix and bassist Greg Spencer trade lines that, on an index of romantic duets, land somewhere between "Islands in the Stream" and "You're the Reason Our Kids Are Ugly." Later, they downshift into a mournful ballad about Doc Holliday that begins with the lyrics, "I shot some men, but never in the back" and gets better with every line. In only 20 minutes, the Revival Band lands itself in rare company: writers of quality love songs.