Mike & the Moonpies
Reviewed by Chase Hoffberger, Fri., Oct. 30, 2015
Midway through "Mockingbird," title track from Mike & the Moonpies' third LP, the lead singer and songwriter takes a moment to reflect on his aesthetic. "With my Levi jeans and snakeskin boots," sings Mike Harmeier, "I dress like 1982." The getup is hardly the frontman's only vintage foray. With its Bob Seger-style cover art and back flap emblazoned with a bust-only sketch of Mike & the Moonpies' six members, Mockingbird plays like an album out of time. That's most evident in "Delilah," a two-step in double time with work from local stringed men Warren Hood and Wesley Holtsford, but also the lead song, "Smoke 'Em If You Got 'Em," a tune just as likely to get cut in contemporary Texas as in the Seventies Rust Belt. "Say It Simply" defines Austin country & western so that you'd think the Moonpies have been playing it in CenTex dance halls for decades. For crooners there's "I Don't Love You," a duet with Carson McHone, while "Never Leaving Texas" takes on the honky-tonk standard that's getting less and less true as Mike & the Moonpies go national.