Gravel Train Fine Upstanding Men


This six-track EP from the Detroit quartet is a beaut. They play lean and hard heartland roots rock that, while not sounding like any of them, recalls the Bottle Rockets, Del Lords, Del Fuegos and Rainmakers. People often dismiss this sort of thing as simple or basic, yet it rocks honestly and hard. Vocalist and lead writer Mitch Matthews has a pleasingly raspy voice and he sings from his heels. Despite such timeworn topics as playing in bands and cars, “Every Chord I Strum” and “Built To Crash” respectively, they infuse every track with a reckless and confident energy and humor that keeps things fresh. “Fine Upstanding Man” is a hard-rocking modern version of the stories in “Don’t Take Your Guns to Town” and “A Boy Named Sue.” The EP closes out with a live track, “500 Miles Away,” that’s rawer than the other five. The disc itself is proof that four guys with a couple of guitars, bass and drums, along with a pocketful of songs about real people will always endure. Keep an eye on these guys. (Boomba)