Burn Barrel Reviled!

Burn Barrel are centred around songwriter JP Olsen, and include members of the Haynes Boys, and Thomas Jefferson Slave Apartments. On Reviled!, they get help from some Afghan Whigs and Scrawlers. Olsen’s songs are solid and rootsy, and his experience as a crime reporter is not wasted — there’s a wealth of telling detail. And, while the songs don’t reach out and grab you immediately the way that Steve Earle’s or Neil Young’s do, to name a couple of obvious influences, they do open up and reveal multiple levels with a few listens. The rough, live-off-the-floor sound compliments them perfectly. Sometimes there’s a touch of twang and at others some jangle. The mournful “Bad Florida” holds you rapt for nearly five and half minutes. Things falter a bit at about the 2/3 point, mainly due to an over-reliance on medium-tempo numbers, but recovers nicely for the last two numbers. Nothing major, but still worthwhile. (Quit Music Now)