Volebeats Country Favorites

Oh, Detroit, with your fabulous ruins, the brick backdrop for revolutionary rappers and rockers who lately strut the covers of Rolling Stone with middle fingers flipped. But let’s not forget about the Motor City native Volebeats, one of the Bloodshot gang that first turned real heads in the anti-country scene on the hill-biblically important hell-bent compilation of — no effin’ way — nine years ago. Nine years! The song was called "One I Love,” nestled in between the Bottle Rockets and Richard Buckner, and it’s a nostalgic highlight on this new record of slightly dated anomalies and very clever covers, whose other sparklers include the throwback "318” from the band’s Bob McCreedy days. As is the curse of this genre, it’s hard not to gravitate to the ironic nuggets of "Knowing Me Knowing You” and "Die By the Sword” liberated from ABBA and Slayer respectively, the latter letting us know that Satan watches all of us yet. The bluesy "Hamtramck Mama” is the tingliest cover, mind you, dating back to a 1939 York Brothers song, while the sorrowful slide instrumental "Maggot Brain” makes me glad I traded my heart for magic beans years ago. It all ends, appropriately inappropriately, with the delightful stretch of a weepy French pop song. Salut! (Rainbow Quartz)