Published Feb 24, 2016After a blistering run of seven records in the late 1990s and the early part of this century, it's been over a decade since Chicago's best bar band last recorded an album. In the long interim, the Waco Brothers — one of the signature bands of the "insurgent country" thing, a self-conscious mashing up of punk and traditional country music — have continued to play their hugely entertaining shows to dedicated fans across North America, released a raucous live album and served as backing band to Paul Burch.
Kicking their legs high into the air (in unison, sort of!), the Waco Bros have always made up for what they lacked in songcraft with utterly winning showmanship. Now, after honing their songwriting over a decade and more, the Wacos have returned with perhaps their best collection of songs to date. Led by Jon Langford (of the crucial British punk band the Mekons) and Dean Schlabowske (of the somewhat less crucial Deano and the Purvs), the band sound pleasingly ragged, loose and playful on tracks like "Devil's Day," "Lucky Fool" and wonderful album opener "DIYBYOB." Long-time fans will be rewarded in spades, and newcomers to the Wacos could do a lot worse than starting their journey here. (Bloodshot)