Plaintiffs La Familia

Seattle scene veteran Joey Kline returned to his home turf in Montana for the recording of this second disc from his countrified rock outfit the Plaintiffs. Way more earnest than the tongue-in-cheek, sometimes goofy rock musings of his best known previous band, the Squirrels, La Familia has Kline affecting a bellowing Southern drawl that would have listeners believe he’s been back in Big Sky Country for a long time, now. This is straight-ahead, four-on-the-floor, rootsy rock, showcasing razor guitar leads and laid down with the passion and intensity of a pickup-driving J. Mascis kicking up gravel on the way home from graduating vocal college. Proficiency at the mic aside, though, there’s a great deal going on hear in terms of memorable lyrics. And outside of the disc’s catchy, epically twanging opener, "Damned,” there’s little risk of any of the nine other tracks here getting stuck in your head for any length of time. A word of warning on that note: the disc’s most alarming departure track, a shuffling ska-beat number called "One Eye Open,” may conjure up painful memories of bad ’80s Men at Work singles gone by. (Career)