Two Dollar Pistols You Ruined Everything

This second studio effort from the North Carolina honky-tonkers immediately hearkens back to the hard-edged Bakersfield sound of Buck Owens and Merle Haggard, an admittedly limited style, but when pulled off successfully - as the Pistols do - it's a refreshing antidote against the recent wave of alt-country bands venturing off into unknown sonic territory. The album's simple production thus puts all the emphasis on singer John Howie Jr., whose rich baritone brings to mind the unlikely scenario of a Jim Morrison who listened to nothing but George Jones growing up. The bulk of the material is pretty catchy too, alternating between the expected heartbreak/drinking subject matter. The title track, "That Someone Isn't Me," and "All The Good's Gone," are all twangy gold, while "You've Grown Tired Of Me," and "I Can See It In Your Eyes" are requisite tear-jerkers of a high calibre. The Pistols aren't polished enough to fill the neo-traditional gap left by the Mavericks, which for the time being is a good thing. Check them out now before they clean up their act. (Yep Roc)