Trent Summar and the New Row Mob Trent Summar and the New Row Mob

Summar works the rockier side of the alt-country enigma and does it in a no-bullshit manner. He and the New Row Mob would be perfectly at home on a bill with Jason and the Scorchers, Bottle Rockets, and Slobberbone. There may be a drawl in his voice and he may wear a straw cowboy hat, but there's plenty of ass-kickin' ZZ Top and Skynyrd grit in the mix. Former Lucinda Williams guitarist Kenny Vaughan provides a tasty edge and the rest of the band keeps things swinging and rocking throughout. Alongside the tough originals is a surprisingly un-ironic cover of Albert Hammond's '70s AM chestnut "It Never Rains In Southern California." Summar manages to make it sound fresh and reveal the vulnerability underneath without getting wimpy. The real shame about the disc is that it's way too twangy for modern rock radio and infinitely too raw, honest and hard rocking for country radio, leaving it a damn fine record without a format. (VFR)