Split Lip Rayfield Never Make It Home

Never Make It Home is the third LP from the Kansas quartet, half of whom were formerly members of Scroat Belly. At a glance, you might think it was a pukka bluegrass LP - the boys are wearing suits and there's a guitar, banjo and fiddle, not to mention some fine, rich, four-part harmonies. But look a little closer and you'll discover that the bass only has one string and is made out of the gas tank of an old Ford. The result is like a photo of a familiar scene where the negative has been flipped. It's immediately recognisable, but something's different, not quite the way you remember it. Like trying to nail Jell-O to the wall, it just keeps squirting away when you think you've managed to put your finger on it. Despite the occasional kazoo solo, there's a restless darkness to the disc, a sense of unease tugging at the corners but disappearing whenever you try to look directly at it, only to pop up somewhere else. The songs are full of grave subjects and convey a sense of foreboding and mystery. It may sound rural, but there's a distinct urban vibe to it. They definitely prefer passion and attitude to polish - think hillbilly music with a punk attitude. (Bloodshot)